Mutual Aid Midlands South Carolina
Based on the foundation of Mutual Aid, “solidarity, not charity, and a form of political participation in which people take responsibility for caring for one another and changing political conditions, not just through symbolic acts or putting pressure on their representatives in government, but by actually building new social relations that are more survivable….with people jumping in to participate because they want to change what is going on right now” (Big Door Brigade).
How does it work?
- Nelly Jolley, Richland 2 Outreach Worker Coordinator- originates from Ecuador and has over a decade of experience connecting Latinx families in Richland 2 to basic resources;
- Ana Reyes, Tienda Latina Pasa Bien Co-owner
- Deborah Billings, Mutual Aid Midlands Community members commit to providing $25 per week to purchase groceries for a partner family. Contributions sent via Venmo to the Tienda so that all funds can be accounted for in a streamlined way.
The Tienda prepares packages that contain foods that are familiar to families and offer high nutritional content, including corn tortillas, masa flour (corn flour to make tortillas), beans, rice, fruits and vegetables, spices (e.g. cilantro), coffee, cheese (queso fresco) made by a community member, three dozen eggs!
The Tienda drives the bags in a refrigerated van to pre-defined distribution points located directly in the communities where families live. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines are followed at all times. Physical distancing is practiced while people wait in line to receive their
package (1 per family). Volunteers who distribute the packages wear masks.