Since the pandemic started, more connections have been made between the Rotarian clubs of San Diego and Tijuana in order to provide much needed assistance to Tijuana. Fernanda Torres (Peace Chair, San Diego Coastal Rotary Club and D4100 and D5340 liaison) and Carlos Carrillo (D4100 International Service Chair and Pro Peace Committee Chair)  spearheaded  these collaborative efforts. Last April, DDFs sent thousands of pieces of PPE to frontline workers in Tijuana and then, beans and rice were distributed to people unable to obtain food during the lockdown. Last Thursday, another 3370 pounds of food was distributed to at risk communities on Tijuana. The Rotary Club of Tijuana Milenio Minarete helped channel the funds from San Diego clubs to buy food.
This project would also not have been possible without the support of Mark McAnelly of Old Mission Club of San Diego, the main sponsor. Mark led the effort to obtain funds from his club and drove his own truck to deliver the food. This new campaign is called Granitas de Esperanza or Grains of Hope. The aim of the campaign is not just to provide food, but to spread the message of hope to the community of Tijuana and build binational collaboration among clubs.
Fernanda and Carlos are living in Tijuana and have seen first hand the economic damage of the pandemic. There are no government safety nets and the poorest in Tijuana are going without food. Together with social workers and business contacts, they have done careful needs assessment. Fernanda negotiated the prices by buying food in bulk, then organized the stores help package the dry goods into 287 bags of rice, beans, masa, pasta, flour, tomato sauce. The bags were taken to five communities and were passed out by Rotarians.
In the afternoon, fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and soap and cleaning supplies were purchased with remaining funds and delivered to Sister Liliana who runs the orphanage called Sonrisas de Angeles outside Tijuana. The sister also received large bags of dry goods to help feed the children and will share some of the food with a senior center that she also runs. In total, approximately 1000 lives were touched by this amazing work. 
Fernanda and Carlos need help to continue this binational collaborative effort to help Tijuana during and after this crisis. They would like to have regular food purchases and distribution to communities most at need. They also hope to have more long term sustainable projects in the future including the building of greenhouses and gardens in some of these neighborhoods. They would like to help Sister Liliana in her work with the orphanage and senior center. If you or your club would like to become involved, please contact Fernanda on her Whats App number +52-664-219-4032 or Jenny Parker at