Local Businesses and Farms Suffering From Growing Poverty Rates in Costa Rica Lead to a Community Partnership to Feed Families

How global philanthropist Trish Duggan is working to support local Costa Rican farms and businesses to feed impoverished families in need.

American business women and philanthropist Trish Duggan gathered a group of volunteers to assist in a community project to provide fresh food to local families in need on a weekly basis. Since the project’s inception in December of 2020, hundreds of local families have been helped thus far. The project consists of purchasing remaining fruits and vegetables from local farmers markets that are brought to a local Catholic Church and various impoverished communities where it is distributed to families in need.

American businesswoman and philanthropist Trish Duggan gathered a group of volunteers to provide fresh food to local Costa Rican families in need.

According to Costa Rica’s National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, poverty in Costa Rica reached 26.2% of households, the highest level in almost three decades. The last time that Costa Rica registered such a high level of poverty was in 1992, when it reached 29.4%.

While in Costa Rica sourcing art for an upcoming museum exhibit celebrating indigenous cultures, Ms. Duggan learned from talking with locals that many families, particularly single mothers, were struggling to keep food on the table for their young children.

The tourism industry consisting of small business and individual workers makes a significant contribution to the economy of Costa Rica. The increase in poverty coincides with a sharp increase in unemployment since the start of the pandemic.

In effort to support these local businesses and farmers while providing aid to impoverished families, a community partnership was established under the direction of Ms. Duggan. 

Community volunteers, along with Ms. Duggan herself, divide up fresh food into bags to be easily distributed.

When asked why Trish Duggan decided to take on this endeavor, Ms. Duggan commented, “Everyone should have the basic human right to food. Healthy children and families are a foundational building block to a strong, healthy and prosperous community. Purchasing remaining food from the farmers allows for a more direct form of giving to the community. We are supporting local businesses while helping provide healthy fruits and vegetables to single mothers and families who need a little extra help to get back on their own two feet.”

Each week a rotation is done delivering food at multiple locations in Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Community volunteers, along with Ms. Duggan herself, divide up fresh food into bags to be easily distributed. This community project is done with coordination with local representatives and the Catholic Church in Puntarenas. Together they focus on the families that need food the most, especially single women with children and elderly people. The initiative hopes to reach many more families as the months continue.

In effort to support local farmers a community partnership was established under the direction of Ms. Duggan.