The latest food drive for the needy – a section of society that has sadly increased due to the pandemic – begins tonight, for the first time without the help of volunteers.
In a statement, the Banco Alimentar contra a Fome (Food Bank against Hunger) stresses: “Because help cannot stop, even though we can’t have volunteers in supermarkets running our traditional campaigns, we appeal to all Portuguese to make contributions between May 21-31 via ‘Ajuda Vale’ (vouchers) available at supermarket checkouts and/ or through the online donations platform”.
Explain reports, using the slogan “Help fill this void”, this year’s food drive hopes to make citizens aware of the many families affected by a lack of (the ability to buy) food every day – a situation now aggravated” by the pandemic.
The good-will of the Portuguese people is sorely needed – even though they themselves may be feeling the pinch.
Banco Alimentar’s long-term president Isabel Jonet has explained that the most vulnerable people in society – who used to rely on the organisation’s support to eat – have now lost their supply points because of the restrictions brought in to contain the spread of the virus. Add to this the roughly 60,000 ‘new poor’ who have lost their incomes since March, and Bancos Alimentares are now coping with around 400,000 people who regularly need help.
“Help cannot stop”, Ms Jonet reiterated the institution’s message, “even less now when it’s needed more than ever”.
Last year, Bancos Alimentares distributed over 23,380 tons of food to 2,400 charities and charitable organisations caring for around 380,000 people – an average of 93.5 tons per day (weekdays only).