30,000 people in Mallorca have sought help from food banks and the President of Banco de Alimentos foundation, Raimundo Montis described the situation as “serious” during an institutional visit to the ‘Operation Kilo’ campaign.
He explained that the number of people the foundation supplies is almost double the 18,000 who were being helped before the State of Emergency was declared in Spain.
But Montis told President of the Government Francina Armengol and Social Affairs Minister, Fina Santiago, that he remains optimistic saying, “our intention is for the campaign to get the nearly one hundred tons of food we collect each year."
Montis explained that the ‘Great Collection’ which started on Monday and will end on Sunday November 22, will be completely digital, based on financial contributions via bank transfers or from supermarket checkouts and stressed that institutional support and from "Mallorcan society" are key to keeping the Bank's objective alive.
"Tourism, has been paralysed, generating a very strong crisis which has changed the profile of the food bank’s beneficiaries,” explained Montis, who also pointed out that poverty is now affecting the salaried middle classes in Mallorca, because many of them are in ERTE, but have financial commitments and don't have enough money left to put food on the table.
"The reality is this pandemic has brought a very hard social and economic crisis and it will be a very complicated winter,” said President Armengol, who stressed that public policies against poverty have reduced the number of people requiring help. She also said that extraordinary aid for entities that distribute food now amounts to 280,000 euros and that 75,000 euros of that money has been allocated to the Food Bank.
President Armengol revealed that the draft Community budget provides an increase of 28.5 million euros for social policies “in order to meet the urgent needs of those affected by the pandemic."
Fina Santiago explained the implementation of the first unified distribution network of entities that distribute food.
"Distribution will be essential this winter and we will be responding to basic needs," said Santiago, "and Palma City Council will manage the certificates of vulnerability that will be distributed to families according to their location."
The Food Bank distributes around eight tons of products every day and has called for solidarity saying collaboration is more important now than ever.