All support has been little at a time when NGOs have redoubled their efforts to meet the increased demand for food and all kinds of help from those who have lost their income and for the first time are turning to these entities to be able to eat.
The Food Bank, which feeds 50,000 people in the province, as many as in the 2012 crisis; Cáritas, which has quadrupled its attendance to reach 32,000 Alicante with food and payment of bills; and the Red Cross, which has served more than 200,000 citizens, double the number in 2019, with new profiles such as hospitality and tourism workers who suddenly found themselves without income, have played a brilliant and very important role during the pandemic, as expected from entities already recognized in their work by INFORMATION. They have been joined in the social and health emergency by others such as Alicante Gastronómica Solidaria, which has 220,000 menus prepared from the first state of alarm so that people without resources have hot dishes, and DYA from Elche, focused on caring for the homeless.
“When we all work together the results are exceptional”
The Alicante Gastronomic Fair, which was to be held in March, had to be canceled with one of the pavilions set up. “They confined us at home but we wanted to be useful to society. We coordinate with the agri-food sector and chefs to prepare menus that disadvantaged people need and we ask the Provincial Council for permission to allocate an amount to the initiative “, explains Carlos Baño, coordinator of Alicante Gastronomica and vice president of the Chamber of Commerce. To prepare the solidarity menus, they needed facilities because those of the fair were closed and they asked the Generalitat to transfer the use of the Alicante Tourism Development Center (CDT), where the first week they prepared 1,000 menus, “those that demanded associations with the that we collaborate from day one as the Red Cross and Caritas ». Weeks later they extended their work to the province through the Benidorm and Torrevieja CDTs and the Elche Hospitality School, which complicated logistics. Until August they did not stop a single day. With the return to classes in the CDT, in September, they were left without kitchens. Alicante Gastronómica asked the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, for the Ciudad de la Luz facilities and set up the entire infrastructure to continue preparing hot menus, now for homeless people, while developing a youth employment plan. More than 800 volunteers have passed through their kitchens and have had 350 collaborating companies.
Nobody was prepared for this. We have done our bit »
“This would have been impossible without the involvement of volunteers, companies and public-private collaboration. When we all get to work together, the results are exceptional “, points out the coordinator of this association, which is worthy of the” Important “. Like DYA Elche. Its volunteers focused on shopping and taking medicines home to people who could not go out, especially the elderly, and set up the El Toscar shelter, where they cared for 230 homeless people, not only with food and lodging, but also by “paying them tickets so that they could return with a family member, looking for work in the fields and renting shared flats “, explains his spokesman, Antonio Tarí, who highlights the collaboration with associations such as Cáritas and the Red Cross, under the coordination of municipal social services, “We have all gone to one and that helps to reach many more people.” In Elche they set up a municipal food bank that prepared and served about 120 lots to families weekly, “which was essential so that people did not go hungry.” The entity coordinated with the Alicante City Council the shelter for the homeless in the Babel pavilion. “We are delighted with this recognition in very difficult times with all the volunteers at the foot of the canyon.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.