Food Bank Against Hunger drive celebrates record levels of generosity
President Marcelo visiting one of the many Food Banks Against Hunger collection points yesterday - Photo: RUI MINDERICO/LUSA

Food Bank Against Hunger drive celebrates record levels of generosity

Donations up 24% on last year’s campaign

Last weekend’s food collection drive, organised by the Federation of Food Banks Against Hunger, was a resounding ‘success’, in that 2,086 tons of foodstuffs were amassed – a 24% increase on food collected during the same campaign in 2021.

This latest drive – which continues online until next Sunday – has involved over 2,000 supermarkets and 40,000 volunteers.

Isabel Jonet, President of the federation that runs 21 Food Banks across the country, is clearly delighted. She has praised the “congregation of goodwill” that has come from everyday people, businesses and the thousands of volunteers.

This year’s campaign to get shoppers to buy food for those less fortunate comes in the context of ‘galloping inflation’ and huge economic uncertainty. Many Portuguese families have already pushed to the brink, thus the fact that so many have still found the capacity to give to others is impressive.

Food collected will start being distributed from today “contributing to help the necessities of around 400,000 citizens, supported by 2,600 institutions with food hampers and hot meals”, said a statement from the federation, which stresses that people can continue to give all the way through this week until December 4 – either by donating online, through this site, or purchasing a ‘voucher’ at their supermarket.

As reports have explained, purchasing a voucher at a supermarket is all people need to do: the supermarket will then deal with the rest, sending the food to the relevant Food Bank.

Elsewhere, ‘details’ on the social fabric in Portugal have been increasingly bleak. Aside from the ‘demographic winter’ (more deaths than births), poverty levels have increased in the last decade; the cost of living has skyrocketed, and families with mortgages are being faced with huge leaps in the cost of monthly instalments. The only ‘good news’ on this point is that the law obliging banks to renegotiate terms of payment has already come into effect, the idea being to protect the most vulnerable.

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com