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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

An initiative of continuing relevance


Since its establishment, SBP Puerto Rico has repaired and rebuilt 300 homes, providing security and stability to affected families, and has also trained 130 organizations in disaster recovery best practices, creating an effective support network for communities. (Photo courtesy of SBP Puerto Rico)

SBP Puerto Rico & Encanto Restaurants continue to restore safe homes in Puerto Rico


By The Star Staff


Sometimes large corporations are not viewed in a positive light. To be sure, more and more people purchase their personal belongings from big companies, whether online or in person, and in terms of food chains, eating out for many in Puerto Rico is more than a once-a-week thing.


No matter how positive or negative someone’s view of large corporations may be, in most cases these companies have a lot of money, and with a large sum of money, a lot of good can be done.


According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 92% of houses in Puerto Rico were damaged to some extent during Hurricane Maria. Many residents didn’t have a home or a bed to sleep in, and complaints about FEMA have been abundant, even years after the hurricane. Even though financing the repair of properties and keeping everything in order was supposed to be FEMA’s responsibility, the private sector also took part in the reconstruction of the island.


Perhaps surprisingly to some, the fast-food industry helped in this effort. One example is Encanto Restaurants, which joined forces with nonprofit organization SPB Puerto Rico to help those in need. In an ongoing effort to assist families with their recovery and with finding secure homes, SBP Puerto Rico has remained steadfast in its commitment since the devastating events of the 2017 hurricanes. The organization has been working to shorten the gap between disaster and recovery, providing a comprehensive response to restore hope and well-being for affected families. For the third straight year, KFC, Pizza Hut, IHOP, and Taco Bell restaurants received donations to match what SBP raised during the month of July for storm-damaged homes on the island.


“The partnership with SBP Puerto Rico is significant and comforting, as we are directly helping many Puerto Ricans rebuild their homes,” said Humberto Rovira, president & CEO of Encanto Restaurants. “Matching the $0.25 that each diner contributes brings us closer to the goal of providing a safe roof for everyone on our island.”


“At SBP Puerto Rico, we take pride in being part of Puerto Rico’s recovery and providing a safe home for families still struggling to return after the hurricane,” noted Edgardo Maldonado, executive director of SBP Puerto Rico. “Our focus extends beyond physical reconstruction; we also collaborate with various organizations to strengthen the community as a whole.”


In order to make these efforts into a reality, money needed to be raised, and what better way to do this than by using their extremely popular food chains, which are visited by islanders on a daily basis, especially at lunch time on weekdays and at night on the weekends. During July, the four restaurant chains -- KFC, Pizza Hut, IHOP and Taco Bell -- received donations from diners to contribute to SBP’s restoration efforts for hundreds of homes on the island.


Since its establishment, SBP Puerto Rico has repaired and rebuilt 300 homes, providing security and stability to affected families. It has also trained 130 organizations in disaster recovery best practices, creating an effective support network for communities. With the collaboration of more than 3,500 volunteers and the support of prominent organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and various institutions, SBP Puerto Rico has expanded its reach and achieved lasting impact.


SBP Puerto Rico’s work has reached 14 municipalities, including Loíza, Yabucoa, Canóvanas, Carolina, San Juan, Toa Baja, Trujillo Alto, Cataño, Bayamón, Guaynabo, Juncos, Guayama, and Vega Baja. However, despite the progress, there are still more than 100 families on SBP Puerto Rico’s waiting list, eagerly awaiting the recovery services they need. As the effort continues to expand, SBP hopes to continue reaching families around the island.


“The task has not been easy, but we are committed to working tirelessly until each and every family finds the security and stability they deserve,” Rovira said. “We invite all interested individuals to join our powerful recovery movement and make a significant difference in the lives of families in Puerto Rico.”

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