Things That Matter

Puerto Ricans Are Receiving Emergency Food Packages That Are Using Candy For Fruit

@lanenaborikua / Twitter / CBS This Morning / YouTube

It has been almost two months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and inhabitants were forced to deal with its laundry list of impacts. After months of dealing with red-tape and neglect, Puerto Rican residents are now dealing with what many on social media are criticizing as inadequate food aid. All of which, many are claiming, is coming to them from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the form of Cheez-Its, Snickers bars, and canned sausages.

Here’s what the food packages look like as well as FEMA’s response to the complaints.

According to images of the boxes that the food rations were delivered in, the foods provided “fit” certain specifications.

One image from a family member of a survivor revealed a box that suggested that the canned meat equated to an entrée. The packs of Cheez-Its served as starch, the Air Heads candies met fruit requirements, and the Baby Ruth candy bars were dessert. The snack packs are being distributed on the island to people who have been waiting for government-issued food to help in their own recovery.

People in Puerto Rico have been sharing images of the food packages that they’ve been receiving from the government agency, FEMA.

mitú reached out to FEMA for information about the snack packs. The agency explained that it was not involved in the orders or purchases of the snack packs sent to aid the island’s recovery. Rather, the agency said that the food packages are coming from a variety of local agencies, which include the Defense Logistics Agency. FEMA’s only involvement with the snack packs is in their distribution. Ron Roth, a spokesperson from the agency, also spoke to mitú and said that in addition to delivering the snack packs, the agency is also involved in delivering ready-to-eat meals to residents on the island.

Roth further explained the way in which the emergency response agency works with contracted companies to provide food packages in case of emergencies.

“While a list of contracts for supplying meals is not currently available, FEMA’s contracting process identifies companies capable of providing several approaches to appropriately feeding disaster survivors,” said Roth. “One of these approaches in Puerto Rico has used ‘snack packs’ previously ordered and stockpiled by the Defense Logistics Agency. These snacks are not meant to replace full meals.”

In addition to local agencies, these companies also include nongovernmental organizations and private contractors who work to organize and send food to victims of natural disasters quickly.

Roth said that FEMA is aware of the social media backlash and that FEMA is working to validate the claims of only receiving snack packs.

These snack packs have made their way to the Puerto Rican people since October through the Defense Logistics system, according to Roth. The spokesperson further explained that FEMA contracts vendors that can provide full meals for disaster victims. “FEMA is committed to providing stable and nutritious meals to the citizens of Puerto Rico,” Roth said. “Early on in the disaster 18 school locations were set up to provide morning and noon meals seven days a week. This is in addition to the ongoing wide range of meals already being provided to survivors by the government of Puerto Rico, FEMA and the numerous volunteer agencies feeding Puerto Ricans across the island.”

Along with ensuring these snack packs are delivered to victims, Roth made clear that FEMA includes works to ensure food rations meet customary requirements. “FEMA’s general contract language calls for full meals to provide foods composed of starches, vegetables, and protein,” Roth said. “They should have over 700 calories and be culturally appropriate for Puerto Rico with proper utensils.”

According to Roth, the crisis in Puerto Rico has posed the “largest emergency food and water distribution effort” in FEMA history.

“Requests for meal deliveries are declining as supermarkets and other parts of the private sector continue to reopen, providing survivors additional ways to feed their families,” Roth said. “More work still needs to be done, however, and all these efforts together will continue the progress we’ve made.”

If you or a loved one has only received snack packs and not full meals, FEMA’s representative recommends contacting local officials or contacting FEMA so that they can address the issue. The number for disaster victims to contact FEMA is 1-800-621-3362.


READ: 5 Creative Ways The People Of Puerto Rico Are Persevering

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Boricuas Dub Themselves “Caribbean Vikings” After Trump Joked About Trading Puerto Rico for Greenland

Things That Matter

Boricuas Dub Themselves “Caribbean Vikings” After Trump Joked About Trading Puerto Rico for Greenland

In case you missed it, Trump recently assumed the United States could purchase Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark. When the prime minister of Denmark publicly denounced that even the idea that Greenland was for sale was “absurd,” Trump took to Twitter to call her “nasty.”

Last year, a former White House official reportedly heard President Trump joke about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland in a meeting. Ever since the former official leaked the story, Boricuas are the ones cracking all the jokes.

Boricuas are daring Trump to make the trade, given Denmark allowed for Greenland to govern themselves in 1979.

@dartinaperez / Twitter

In 2008, Greenland voted for the Self-Government Act which transferred even more power from the Danish government to its own local government. Since then, Greenland has gradually assumed responsibility for its local laws, law enforcement and finances. Plus, for Puerto Ricans on Twitter,”the Danish cookie tin cans will finally have cookies instead of sewing thread and needles.”

Now, Boricuas are seeing Denmark’s influence everywhere.

@juliana_icm / Twitter

We always knew our abuelas were brujas, seeing into the future. It’s like they knew that the only way we could repair (though, not with needle and thread) Puerto Rico’s government would be with the Danes.

Are Puerto Ricans soon-to-become a “Product of Denmark?”

@miss_gines / Twitter

“Toda una vida en training,” tweeted one Boricua. Puerto Ricans are taking to Twitter to discuss how they might already be culturally primed to become part of Denmark.

They have already started calling themselves the “Caribbean Vikings.”

@NielInRealLife / Twitter

“You can hear the Caribbean Vikings coming from the dembow beat over the horizon,” tweets one Puerto Rican. Can you imagine? 😂 

Except, they’ve made some changes to the traditional Viking gear.

@arnaldot76 / Twitter

Don’t underestimate what Boricuas can do with a plantain. You might know us for our mofongo, but you won’t survive an encounter with a plantain-wielding Puerto Rican out for vengeance.

Puerto Ricans have googled their new queen, and they approve.

@regcoral / Twitter

“She looks so much better than Trump,” tweets one Puerto Rican. “Count me in, too!” Another says, “love the idea. Denmark will definitely treat us better. Long live the Queen!” The #DinamarcaPR movement is alive and well, y’all.

That said, Puerto Ricans are divided on having to learn another language.

@vodkatito / Twitter

When Spain colonized Puerto Rico, the indigenous peoples’ (Tainos) were brutally killed, along with their language. With Spaniard rule, Spanish became the most spoken language on the island. Now, as a territory of the United States, English is also an official language. Some folks are tired of colonialism, while others are down to learn a new language in exchange for free healthcare and respect.

Some have joked that they’d be trading up from Captain America to Thor.

@mewlngasgardian / Twitter

“We’re trading in Captain America for Thor #DinamarcaPR,” tweeted on Boricua. The funniest part about all of this, is that the Danes want Puerto Rico. A Danish person replied to this tweet saying, “You’re more than welcome to join Denmark. It’ll be an honor to have Puerto Rico be a part of our country.”

The Nordic people actually really want Boricuas to join their country.

@a_fly_guy / Twitter

Another Dane laid it all out for Boricuas:
“Love you guys, you are more than welcome to join our little kingdom. *Free health care
*Free schools
*Free education and you get government support while doint it.
*Work week 37 hours
*Low unenployment
And the best thing, we do not have Trump and Obama are visiting next month!”

The merch is already in production.

@la_guapa / Twitter

“You guys bring the beaches we bring the beer,” one Dane tweets to the #DinamarcaPR. Another Puerto Rican is just keen on the idea that “Denmark’s PM won’t throw power towels at their brown citizens.”

At the end of the day, #DinamarcaPR is a joke, but government autonomy isn’t.

@lherrero / Twitter

Some folks are serious about this, tweeting “And they think we are joking!” Others acknowledge that #DinamarcaPR is just one way that Puerto Ricans are expressing their desire for a government that takes care of them. “I kind of am [joking] about joining Denmark. That’s absurd. But that we want actual functioning government with real policies that help people. No one is joking about that.”

Just weeks after forcing their Governor out of power, Puerto Ricans aren’t quitting until they get health care, free education and some respect.

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

@urbanfloweb / Twitter / shootter_ledo / Instagram

San Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, more commonly known as Bad Bunny, El Conejo Malo, is very familiar with the transformative effects of SoundCloud. Bad Bunny was bagging groceries at a supermarket when he gained a cult following on SoundCloud. Since then, he’s risen to international fame, with dozens of accolades under his belt. Last year, he won the Latin American Music Awards Artist of the Year award and Billboard awarded him the Top Latin Song of the year for “Te Bote.”

Bad Bunny’s style and attitude might seem odd to some, but that’s given him all the success in the world. Like a true saint, he has a history of prioritizing his people over fame and glory. Just last month, Bad Bunny canceled a European concert tour last minute to fly home to Puerto Rico and participate in the Ricky Renuncia protests.

For the last year, Bad Bunny has been secretly working with other SoundCloud traperos to help boost their career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

In a way, nothing has changed for Bad Bunny when it comes to what matters most to him. He’s prioritizing Boricuas and Latin trap, hanging out with his friends, and listening to SoundCloud. 

That’s how he discovered Jesús Antonio Dominguez Collazo, A.K.A. Shootter Ledo.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

Ledo has a biology degree and just fools around with music on the side. Right now, he’s working as a security guard. It just so happened that Dominguez and Benito had a mutual friend in La Paciencia, a producer with ears in all the right places. Last fall, La Paciencia played “Subimos de Rango” for Bad Bunny, and the trapero couldn’t get enough of it. Apparently, Ledo and Omy de Oro had spent just a couple hours making the track before they posted it to SoundCloud.

Bad Bunny loved the song so much that he created some verses to add.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

La Paciencia had given him a heads up that they wanted to share the track with Bad Bunny to see what he thought of the song as a single. Dominguez says he honestly hadn’t even thought of getting off SoundCloud and creating a track, let alone with El Conejo Malo, when he got the call that San Benito already was writing verses for the song. 

It’s no mistake that Bad Bunny is helping produce new artists.

Credit: shootter_ledo / Instagram

It seems that La Paciencia and Bad Bunny had set up the hotel room specifically to hear artists spit lines in person. When Dominguez first walked into the hotel room with Bad Bunny, he was nervous. Bad Bunny knew it, and afterward, asked him to come back the next morning to try again. For Bad Bunny, it felt like he was “forcing it.”

So Dominguez went back to his security guard night shift and went back the next morning with new verses.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

He literally wrote new verses during his shift and nailed it. La Paciencia and Bad Bunny took him on and more. Bad Bunny is a featured artist on the single. “What that man did, no one does…,” Dominguez said. “The most popular artist in the world did a remix to someone else’s first song. And he didn’t even know me…. no tiene nombre lo que él hizo.”

The track’s cover art honors El Conejo Malo’s own letras.

Credit: @urbanfloweb / Twitter

It’s a full-circle moment when Bad Bunny gets to rap about his Gucci wallet and how, “Si quiero, me retiro feliz y contento.” He knows that he’s in his moment, and that if he were to die, they’d erect a monument of him (Me muero y me hacen un monumento / estoy en mi momento).

Now, Ledo is just waiting to see if Bad Bunny’s help with “Subimos de Rango” jump-starts his music career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

“I’m going to see what fruits this [single] brings,” he says thinking about what’s next. “I’m going to see who sticks, who wants to collaborate. Pero, yo estoy puesto pa’ zumbar canciones… and get to where I need to get to.”

You can watch the full music video, by Shootter Ledo and Omy de Oro, featuring Bad Bunny right here.

The video premiered just two days ago and already has 700,000 views. The most liked comment on YouTube translates, “Wow, Bad Bunny with the surprising theme and bringing back trap. Thank you Bad Bunny.”

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