Eugenio and Elsa with their children stand outside one of their small home gardens.
(From left to right) Sonia, Gustavo, Eugenio, Elsa Liz, Sayda, Carlos, Elsa


Home Garden Changes Everything for Peruvian Family


Most parents know one of the biggest problems with feeding young children is getting them to eat their vegetables. Many kids (and a few adults) shy away from the nutritious foods. But what if your kids loved vegetables simply because they were a rare treat?

That’s the case for Eugenio Huarocc Huaman and his wife Elsa in Huancavelica, Peru. He says his five children loved vegetables, because it was so uncommon to have the means to get them.

“We didn’t have access to vegetables and it was difficult to get them,” Eugenio said. “We didn’t have enough money to buy them either. The distance to the city is far away from here because we live on the hillside. Even though my children like vegetables, I felt frustrated because I didn’t have enough resources to feed my family with proper food.”

Eugenio’s children weren’t alone either. 60 percent of children suffer from malnutrition in Huancavelica. Many families commute up to six miles to purchase any form of fruits and vegetables, even if they are not fresh or ripe.

Food for the Hungry (FH) knows this is an unacceptable problem, so we are stepping in to help. FH staff know the only way to improve the community’s nutritional status is through lifestyle and behavior change.

So, FH facilitators visited house-to-house in Eugenio’s community to educate families about food, nutrition and gardening. Staff members taught Eugenio how to garden and plant their own vegetables, giving them year-round access to a fresh supply of vitamin-rich vegetables.

His family has now had two harvests!

This means even more for his family than healthy meals. Good health means better school attendance, and better mind-preparedness to learn. Eugenio says his children are dramatically improving their studies. Not only that, but his wife (who is pregnant) is experiencing a noticeably healthier pregnancy than her prior five.

And this change isn’t only occurring in Eugenio’s family but in his whole community, encouraging people to make positive, healthy changes for their families.

As for Eugenio, he’s excited to continue improving his practice. He wants to expand his garden and plant an even wider range of vegetables so his family’s health will continue to improve.

Can you believe that? Thanks to people like you, FH is able to change whole communities for the better, teaching families and preparing them to take necessary steps to improve their lives and the lives of their children. This is truly helping people in Huancavelica to overcome all forms of human poverty.

Elsa and her son 4-year-old son, Carlos, show off beets from their home garden.

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