The number of families living on the breadline in Santa Margalida is rapidly increasing.
In October, 1,450 people were receiving basic products from the Food Bank, but just a month later 1,782 people are in desperate need.
“We are facing a social health emergency, we are a Municipality whose economy is based on Tourism and the Services Sector," said Social Welfare Councillor, Miquel Estelrich.
Tourism, trade and restaurant activity hasn't recovered in Can Picafort since the State of Emergency ended and many families who were out of work during the 2020 summer season are now facing severe financial difficulties.
"We have doubled the number of social workers, from three to six to try to cope with demand which has gone up by 75 percent for food, rent aid and other necessities,” explains Estelrich.
One more Social Worker and two extra Educators have been hired to care for children and young people in vulnerable situations.
“We had to suspend the Escola Viva program because of the coronavirus pandemic and the children have been cared for individually since then, but we are working on a new plan for children and adolescents,” he said.
The abolition of the Escola Viva service was heavily criticised by SUMA.
The City Council had set aside 50,000 euros to cover rent aid, mortgage aid, food, school books and other needs, but has also been forced to double it to 100,000 because of increasing demand for aid.
In 2019, an average of 458 people were receiving basic food supplies, but by August this year 1,214 were desperate for food and last month 1,792 residents were in need.
“We have had to buy extra food because what we receive from the European Social Fund is completely insufficient,” said Councillor Estelrich.
“We allocated 20,451 euros to buy food between March and June and another 15,000 euros to cover July, August and September.
From both a political and a technical point of view, we believe that the worst of this crisis is yet to come and the institutions must work together to find a solution.”