When bags are handed out to customers at supermarkets, asking for support for those less fortunate, many of us are unaware of what happens to our contribution.
One of the most successful organisations to benefit is the Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome Algarve (the Portuguese food bank), who assist 16,000 needy people every month via 73 charitable institutions in the Algarve. Even so, there are 13 institutions catering for approximately 4,000 people who are on the waiting list to join the programme.
Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome gets offered sizeable quantities of fresh fruit and perishables by supermarkets, so they were delighted when the Rotary Club Estoi Palace International, through the then president Claire Larson, approached them about the possibility of providing them with a brand new refrigerated truck. Over €42,000 was needed, a daunting task in the recent economic climate. Even though they were encouraged by the possibility of funding from the Rotary Foundation HQ in Chicago, there was still a need for an energetic campaign, and the members of the Rotary Club Estoi Palace International swung into action.
Partnerships were made with a Rotary District and Rotary Club in Texas (USA), a Rotary Club in Pennsylvania chipped in and an International group of wine-loving Rotarians added their support. The Algarve Rotary Clubs were not slow in coming forward with various fund-raising events, including a golf day and wine tasting dinner. Early this year the total was still €11,500 short of its target but as if by magic, a Rotary District in Brazil came to the rescue, and last week the vehicle was formally handed over. The official handover took place at the Food Bank warehouse in Faro, where volunteers and Rotarians toured the facilities before the keys were presented to the Food Bank’s Director, Nuno Alves, by Estoi Palace International Rotary Club president Shirley Dunne and past president Claire Larson.
Nuno Alves duly climbed into the cab and started the vehicle before staff were soon busy loading the new vehicle with pears and other fruit for distribution throughout the region. Nuno Alves said, “We are truly indebted to the Rotary organisation for this wonderful contribution to our work. In 2007 we were helping 5,000 people which has more than trebled today.”
Banco Alimentar Contra a Fome Algarve
The Food Bank is organised and staffed by volunteers, most of whom are Portuguese. All food donations were previously delivered to the Faro warehouse, as the Food Bank did not have a refrigerated truck to collect perishable items that could be donated by supermarkets. It is estimated that this vehicle is able collect one metric ton of perishable food items per day, the equivalent to a total of 250 metric tons per year. On the June 1-2 nearly 3,000 volunteers collected 144 tons of goods at 130 supermarkets. The next collection is on the weekend of November 30 – December 1, and if you can help please contact as follows.
289 872 426 | 910 258 989
Rotary Club International Estoi Palace
The club has 18 members from eight nationalities and the official language is English. Their first project was to support the community in the parish of Estoi by raising funds to buy and distribution milk supplements for children via the Food Bank Against Hunger campaign. Seventy-eight families have benefited since the project began in July 2009, with approximately 23,000 litres of milk being distributed.
913 915 859 Robin Wilson