The 16th anniversary of the Algarve Food Bank was celebrated in Portimão on Wednesday, March 1 with a special event which saw students from the local DUAL school and volunteers handing out free biscuits to the local population.
The biscuits were meant to symbolise “one third of the food which is wasted all over the world”, said Portimão Council in a statement to the press.
The Algarve Food Bank (or Banco Alimentar do Algarve) was created on March 1, 2007, and is currently the fourth largest food bank in Portugal, distributing around 3.5 tons of food per year.
Officially a Private Institution of Social Solidarity (IPSS), the food bank has grown and established itself to the point where it was able to help around 30,000 people across the Algarve during the Covid-19 pandemic – a period during which many people lost their jobs or saw their wages significantly reduced.
The food bank is currently helping around 7,500 people in the Western Algarve (Barlavento) and works together with 18 businesses, from which food and meals which would otherwise go to waste are collected and taken to the institution’s warehouse in Portimão, located in Coca Maravilhas for around 11 years.
To accomplish its mission, the institution has an electric vehicle and a distribution van and a team of six permanent volunteers as well as around 550 other volunteers who help out during the food bank’s special campaigns, such as the food drives carried out regularly at supermarkets.