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Abstract

Poverty, a major national challenge, is a situation or lifestyle which arises as a result of the lack of resources to meet basic human needs, such as food, health and housing. In 2008, the Food Bank of Veracruz, A.C. (BAV) signed a cooperation agreement with the School of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Veracruz. Since then, workshops on dairy products making as well as workshops on meat products manufacturing has been taught and have had an impact on participants and communities nutrition. Whole milk received from donation was pasteurized and processed. Cheese and yogurt produced were integrated into the basic food baskets donated to beneficiaries. Almost 8000 families from 27 different neighborhoods in the Veracruz-Boca del Rio metropolitan area were benefited. Research has also been a component associated to these activities, for example, a pork sausage added with different percentages of textured soybean was tested, in order to increase its protein content and offer a better nutritive value product for human consumption. The collaborative effort is now seeking to empower people who participated in the previous workshops teaching them now courses on business projects, so they can be self-employed and become financially independent in the future. Several schools of the University of Veracruz are involved in teaching workshops for dairy and meat making products and in training these people to integrate an association that could help them to create and promote small businesses (SMEs). It is concluded that to solve complex problems, such as food poverty, a collaborative interdisciplinary approach linking several agencies of various kinds and different educational institutions is required. Such approach will optimize the strengths each one of the participants have and will maximize the chances of success.

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