On June 19, residents of the Porter Hill Community demonstrated their generosity by participating in what organizers dubbed “The Porter Hill Bean Encounter.”
The idea began when Chuck and Joanene Falk and their neighbors on Tio Diego heard about the dire need for beans and rice in marginalized areas of Tijuana through Mil Generaciones (Thousand Generations) a nonprofit Christian organization. Because of high number of COVID cases and unemployment in the area, beans and rice were a necessity. Eight pounds of beans and rice are needed to feed a family of five for a week. With that information, the goal became to gather a ton of beans and rice — enough to feed 250 families.
Flyers were delivered to the neighbors inviting them to be a part of the “Bean Encounter.” The humorous flyer stated participants could be a “preteen or nineteen;” “tired of the routine and want to be seen;” or “have/had COVID-19 or the vaccine.”
To collect the beans from the neighbors, a red “bean mobile” decorated with green, red and white balloons went through the streets playing John Phillip Sousa’s march music. The neighbors knew the bean collectors were on the way, and most of them had their beans and rice on their porches, but many greeted the walkers personally with their donations.
There were bags of beans and rice in all sizes — from one to 50 pounds, financial donations, plus an abundance of pasta and tuna. The goal of a ton of beans and rice was reached: 2,051 pounds!
The neighbors in Porter Hill are proud of their community and by working on this project they discovered they were even better together.
— Submitted by Chuck and Joanene Falk