An association of expats and Portuguese residents has moved swiftly to donate boxes of fruit and vegetables to needy families on the Algarve’s west coast.
Community association Amovate (Associação dos Moradores e Amigos do Vale da Telha, or the Association of Residents and Friends of Vale da Telha) is a non-profit-making charitable organisation, available for people of all nationalities who have links to the area on the coast near the town of Aljezur.
Recognising that families without land to grow their own food were facing extreme difficulties and hardship, Amovate decided to lend a hand.
President Ian Bedford, who leads a multi-national committee of local residents, told us: “In these difficult times, there are always going to be families that suffer more than most, and we at Amovate decided to find out if there were any ways we would be able to help.
“We work frequently with Carolina Agapito who runs The Day Spa at Arrifana but is also involved with the Aljezur branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society, and is able to identify needy causes we have often helped in the past.
“After discussing it with her, it was agreed that supplying boxes of vegetables and fruit for families who have no land to grow their own food was probably the most pressing need in the current lockdown situation.
“Then came the issue of sourcing the food required, and Petra Deen, a friend of Amovate, who has a stall at Aljezur’s Municipal Market selling produce largely from her own smallholding, quickly agreed to help by generously letting us have the fruit and vegetables at cost.
“She also kindly volunteered to make up each box, which were then delivered to the St Vincent de Paul Society volunteers who are organising the distribution to those most in need.”
Ian added: “We know, of course, that this contribution probably will not be the last as the battle to combat the pandemic continues, and Amovate are looking at other ways to help.
“We are asking people in the area who may have tins or packets of food surplus which they might like to contribute to this endeavour, to let us know.
“At present, we are looking into ways of collecting donations, or perhaps leaving boxes at our headquarters, the Old School House at Vales, which can be emptied daily.
“We would be delighted to hear from anybody wishing to donate, or to help us in this very worthwhile endeavour.”
Amovate can be contacted via messaging on the Amovate Facebook page, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
By MATT D’ARCY