Majorca is suffering economically and the poorest, most vulnerable people are taking the brunt of it, some of them are already on the point of breaking after the toughest year many of us have ever had to face. “It is not only the virus that we have to fear,” says Toni Bauza from the soup kitchen and food bank Es Tardor, “People are becoming desperate, and the most vulnerable are families with young children without aid or insufficient income and the elderly with pensions below the poverty line.”
The Tardor Association Food Bank for Family Care in Palma, in addition to meeting the basic food needs of families, has been trying to alleviate the effects of poverty on the most vulnerable. This year the demand for their services and support has escalated wildly and they are trying their best to respond to the increasing need. Originally a soup kitchen and day centre, Tardor is now in the process of creating housing centres to be able to help urgent cases, especially single-parent families. The statistics are worrying, and likely to continue to worsen. 24% of families are at imminent risk of being thrown out of their homes for not being able to afford the rents. 43% of single-parent families in a situation or imminent risk of social exclusion. The aid offered by the State, if they are lucky enough to get it (48% estimate that they will not get it), to alleviate the effects of this tragic situation is not enough to pay rent in the Balearic Islands. Here in its translated version is Toni’s description of a day in the life of Tardor.
October 15th, 2020. At 08:49, the phone starts to ring: “Hello, good afternoon, oh, sorry, good morning, my name is ... I am a mother of two small children, I work but I barely manage to earn 700€ a month, my husband has been trying to get a family allowance from SEPE for 3 months, for now nothing at all, we pay 550€ rent before any other expenses, can I come and collect food from your association?”
08:57: “We have been given a leaflet in a supermarket telling us that you help people in need, yes, we are two ladies of 83 and 87 years old who share a room, we have non-contributory pensions, it is hardly enough for us to pay for the double room and the shared expenses of the house we are in, I haven’t even included the money yet we need for the pharmacy supplements, which as we are poor, leaves us without money to eat.”
09:00: Michelin star chef, Koldo Royo, arrives at Tardor kitchen. “Look at everything we have prepared, I am putting aside the fund for the paella tomorrow. Toni we must call the volunteer cooks and put a list on the wall so that everyone knows when and who is responsible.”
09:04: “Hello, are you the food aid guys? We are immigrants, we arrived a little over six months ago, we don’t have any savings left to continue paying for the room where five people live, my husband and my three children, we don’t know what to do, the owner of the house is asking us to leave and we don’t have anything to eat, can you help us?”
09:07: Carol Senders enters the office “Toni, get the printer going, urgent” and requests 30 forms for the social worker due to the notable increase in families.
This is every morning all morning at Association Tardor
12:13: A film crew from the TV station IB3 appear at the door. “Hi Toni, can we film and interview anyone who wants to talk? We are trying to corroborate the data that is being published lately about the increase of poverty or risk of it.”
12:20: A fisherman offers his fish when he has a surplus, he says that he will bring it to the Association so fresh that even the fish is alive when it arrives. “It may be 2 or 3 kilos from time to time, but it is something, isn’t it?”
12:24: Jan, a volunteer cook enters the office restlessly: ‘Toni, we urgently need more tupperware, have they been ordered?” Right now Tardor is spending more than 2000 euros a week on containers, it’s not just food, it’s supplying it in a safe and healthy manner, helping so many people is very expensive.
12:30: Revision of accounts, just in the taxes of the rents of the premises they have had to pay more than 3,000€ this quarter... a further 45,000€ to the builders of the new project... the economic effort they are making every day is titanic. At the moment the association is helping feed over 7000 people in Palma de Mallorca with more people asking for help every day.
13:04: Xisca arrives, a psychologist from another service “Toni I have two elderly people that I would like you to evaluate when you can take them in”... yes pass me the report and we will see what we can do.
And so it goes on, one more day.
How can we help?
- By signing up to donate a euro every month
- By organising your own collection of food within your friends, family, community and business and delivering it to the Association.
- By volunteering your time.
- By raising money.
Food Bank for Family Care, Manuel Guasp Street, 13, Tel 642554649 (by message), Monday Wednesday and Friday.Delivery hours 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Day Centre and Social Dining Room, Reina Constanza Street, 10. Tel. 871931114.Every delivery day from 12:00 to 15:00.
LLar Inge, General Riera Street, 91, Tel. 680419128, info centre from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.