Helping those in real need.jpg

Helping those in real need

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

The Algarve Food Bank (Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome do Algarve – BACFAlg) has helped thousands of people in need over many years and as the economic crisis worsens, more people are looking to the organisation for help.

Susana Guerreiro of BACFAlg said that previous food collection campaigns had gone very well and in the last two years exceeded expectations, considering that the country is in a period of economic crisis.

“In our last campaign we collected 190 tonnes of food in the Algarve. Since BACFAlg opened in 2007 the amount of donated food has increased with every campaign. Last spring there was an increase of 20% and last Christmas an increase of 28% compared with the same period the previous year,” she told the Algarve Resident in an exclusive interview.

She highlighted the fact that society is showing great generosity in difficult times.

“Currently, BACFAlg assists more than 15,000 people, including 3,000 children through 75 local institutions.

“Everyone can contribute with the donation of food during our campaigns or by leaving supplies at our office, and can also help with volunteer work in campaigns,” said Susana Guerreiro.

However much food is collected, it is never sufficient for all those in need.

“The lack of food is without doubt our biggest concern. We have a waiting list of institutions because the food we collect is not enough for everyone.”

BACFAlg’s next plan is to open a new office in Portimão to increase support throughout the western Algarve.

The organisation has also established contacts with many other organisations and entities to help spread the work and the word about the objectives of BACFAlg to the foreign population in the Algarve, to make them aware of all the activities.

“The next campaign in November will have information available in English, which we hope will lead to an increase in the amount of food collected. We know that foreigners are proactive and charitable,” said Susana Guerreiro.

“We have already received support from foreign institutions and associations which clearly reveals that solidarity has no nationality and no differences among races.”

BACFAlg will be at the BLiP exhibition in Portimão on October 8 and 9 and the major objective is to make those who reside or are spending their holidays in the Algarve aware that another reality exists beyond the sun and the beach.

“At BLiP we will show guests how BACFAlg works, the results of previous campaigns, the institutions we support, and our future projects,” she said.

Two forthcoming events will be aiming to raise funds for the purchase of equipment for the organisation.

“We will have a Charity Golf Day on an Oceânico Group course and the Algarve Historic Festival at the Parkalgar in Portimão.”

Susana Guerreiro said BACFAlg would not exist without its volunteers and she praised their efforts.

“I want to thank all volunteers who have participated in our campaigns, which ensure the success of our work. Many of them put BACFAlg activities as a priority in relation to work and family. The hard work and the availability of volunteers during the food collection campaigns has been remarkable.”

The next campaign is being held on November 26 and November 27.

To become a volunteer of BACFAlg visit (only available in Portuguese). Alternatively email [email protected] or [email protected] or call 289 872 426.