Food For The Poor Wins USAID Grant for Guatemala Hospital

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (July 11, 2019)  Food For The Poor has received its third grant from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) program. The grant will be used to buy much-needed state-of-the-art medical equipment for Children’s Hospital Juan Pablo II in Mixco, Guatemala.

These upgrades will improve the sustainability of the hospital, in addition to improving the treatment of thousands of children and women needing medical assistance.

"This level of diagnostic medical equipment is unprecedented in this region of Guatemala, and this grant is truly a blessing for the hospital staff that soon will be better prepared to care for the region’s most vulnerable patients,” said Food For The Poor President/CEO Robin Mahfood. “It is estimated that more than 70,000 people a year will benefit directly from these projects in Guatemala."

Located north of Guatemala City, the hospital in Mixco has provided healthcare for more than three decades to injured or sick children, women needing prenatal care and the local community. Many also travel from other areas of the Central American country in search of quality pediatric and reproductive care. The hospital also serves as a center of learning for Guatemala’s future pediatricians.

The medical equipment will include a colposcope, which is used by gynecologists for the detection of abnormal tissue; a sterilizer/aerator, to sterilize heat and moisture sensitive equipment, conventional and mobile X-ray machines, a computed radiography system with synapse server, in addition to hardware to digitize the hospital’s record-keeping system for improved efficiency.

In 2017, Food For The Poor received its second grant to pay for a hospital-wide solar-powered generating system. The solar panels have been installed and will help power the medical equipment arriving later this summer. The solar-powered generating system is saving the hospital nearly $60,000 a year in energy costs.

The first ASHA grant the charity received in 2015 funded renovations that included the installation of a wastewater treatment plant, a new metal corrugated roof and drop ceilings.

Established in 1957, ASHA strengthens schools, libraries and hospitals through public-private partnerships. Its mission is to share the best in health and education ideas, practices and values worldwide while building mutual understanding and friendship with people around the world. ASHA’s investments build resilient civil society institutions and provide hope, while training the next generation of world leaders. Since its inception, it has facilitated the development of 300 institutions in nearly 80 countries, including Guatemala. Caritas Arquidiocesana operates the Children’s Hospital Juan Pablo II, the only hospital that provides comprehensive healthcare to women, children and adolescents with limited resources in Guatemala. Caritas Arquidiocesana is a member of Caritas Internationalis and is the primary relief and development agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Guatemala City.

Children’s Hospital Juan Pablo II opened its doors in March 1985, two years after Pope John Paul II visited the Central American country. During that visit, he told the people that to serve God is to serve those in need. A year later, construction of the pediatric hospital began and was named after the man who inspired the people of Guatemala.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned or abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit

Wanda Wright

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079