Alcudia and Pollensa are just two municipalities in Majorca where the local economy is highly dependent on tourism. The town halls are aware that this dependence will mean tough times for some of their residents over the coming autumn and winter. Both are therefore preparing for increased demand for basic necessities.
In Alcudia, social services currently help 1,800 people buy food and other basic products. During the pandemic, the town hall - as was the case in Pollensa - launched a system of subsistence cards, with which those in vulnerable situations could make purchases at supermarkets that were collaborating with the town hall. In March and April, when times were toughest, this allowed greater agility in covering basic needs and in preventing social services from being overwhelmed with demand.
The town hall is now adding two more social workers, taking the total to seven, and is creating a single registration system for social services. Councillor Agüi Lobo says that this will channel all requests, including applications for the minimum living income (which is then handled by social security). If there is a new wave of demand for social services, and the town hall anticipates that there will be, the department will be in a better position to cope. Processing will also be quicker. "Speeding things up is key in an emergency situation."
In Pollensa, the town hall has decided to withdraw the cards for purchasing basic necessities that it introduced in Puerto Pollensa during the harshest phase of the lockdown. The alternative is a collaboration with the Caritas charity and the opening of a solidarity supermarket (at Calle Roger de Flor, 63).
This will open in September, and families will be able to spend the equivalent of fifty points in purchasing products from this supermarket. Councillor Francisca Cerdà says that the cards were an urgent solution to help people in difficulty, "but we believe that this is now a better solution". The town hall is currently helping 425 families, 325 of them in Puerto Pollensa.