About La Via Sana
La Via Sana
La Via Sana
In January of 1996, I was barely 22 and I was hospitalized for strange behaviors, difficulty sleeping and a general psychotic state of mind. I was diagnosed with Bipolar and sent home with my parents. What did this mean? I didn't know. I received a lot of support from well-intentioned friends and family- but they didn't know much more. Over the years, I have learned the hard way what it is for me and have had to create a way of seeking health. In 2008, after one particularly difficult breakdown, I sought treatment in Florida- a program for transitional living and learning - it helped me learn a great deal more about myself and the illness I was dealing with. We began speaking with my family about helping other people with mental health and mental illness issues. My parents, Ronald and Blanca Knoll formed a 501c3 nonprofit in 2009. At first, we were advocates for every and any thing that would help for people. We volunteered, donated, and advocated until we felt exhausted. In 2016, we took a little hiatus and did other things. I worked in retail and worked on paying off debts. Then, we started again in 2019 with a different concept. We wanted to reach the most vulnerable, where poverty and mental health converge-- because I believe that FOOD is a Medicine- that can help with stability, and with healing. Sometimes people who are not well don't have money for food. Or they don't cook for themselves. And worse yet, sometimes those somebodies are CHILDREN-
We know that the brain is still forming when a human is a child, and eating regularly is a nurturing thing- you could call it a therapy. La Via Sana reaches people who need to EAT. We want to feed those who are hungry- and talk about how beneficial this is for mental health. We currently support other organizations in their goal including Travis Heights Christian Outreach, Mobile Loaves and Fishes, Community First, Central Texas Food Bank and others in the community of Austin and abroad. We are a small operation with a big heart to help.
We have a collaboration with other volunteers around the country and we call it the GIVING CIRCLE. It is a way for us to join together to support the projects we believe in. During the covid crisis, La Via Sana has been donating and advocating and continues to seek out ways to help the most vulnerable.