The Food Bank increases presence in Mercabarna

The economic crisis is still not give truce. Day after day, gradually increasing the number of families living below the poverty line, ie, remaining in the month with an income below € 460. According to data published by the Foundation Food Bank in its Annual Report 2010, currently 20% of the citizens of Catalonia (which amounts to more than one and a half million people) is in this harsh situation, which dealing with real estate costs and put a dish on the table is virtually incompatible.

Of course, charities like the Food Bank-profit foundation that receives and delivers surplus food to organizations serving needy people of Barcelona are the most serious effects are feeling social you are having this economic crisis. First, I have noticed in the number of beneficiaries. In 2008, when the crisis was still in its infancy, food (but not marketable supplies) collected by the Bank were distributed among 57,000 people in need. Today, that figure has climbed to 103,925 people.

And secondly, have noted that since the outbreak of the crisis, there is a group of beneficiaries of these foods has increased more than others. Until now the families of immigrant origin were the main recipients and now are growing with young families or native, hit by unemployment, they need to allocate all of its food budget to pay the rent or mortgage .

However, it is not surprising that the Food Bank is invested in their efforts to achieve maximum cooperation by companies in the food sector. And the spotlight is Mercabarna. The charity would like the donations that make this food companies do not stop the growth.

"Mercabarna is a great value for the number of potential donors that there is the type of product you give, because fresh foods are difficult to obtain and are central to the diet of anyone," says Food Bank president, Antonio Sansalvadó.

After a stagnation in donations and to respond to the increase of people in need, the Food Bank, and the Guild Mercabarna Wholesale Fruits & Vegetables made in 2009, a major campaign to increase donations of fresh produce . The success of the action resulted in a significant rise in contributions during that year. And the bank does not want to dilute this effect.

In 2010, donations were kept in a good level, although they were reduced by 16% over the previous year. Where was this reduction is more noticed in the case of fish. As explained by the entrepreneur John Videla, who coordinates donations from companies in the Central Fish Market, if the fish is very difficult to maintain "a constant volume of donations" as a product "without a versatile production set" . However, highlights the work is done from the Association of Fish Wholesalers (GMP) and Frimercat periodically to remind wholesalers need to make contributions to the Bank.

New office in Mercabarna
For almost 10 years, the Bank has a warehouse with cold storage, provided by Mercabarna food in the park, which is receiving donations and collected by the associations. Now, this installation you will add a new office, located at the 2nd floor of Banks, the office number 94a. According Sansalvadó with the local "strengthen our presence in Mercabarna and have more flexibility and to visit local companies, so that donors are now those that are potential donors. We will be more visible. "

At the head office, which opens Tuesday to Thursday from 10 to 13, volunteers will Ubia Albert and Charles Lazarus. Ubia is well aware of this food since he was linked to Mercabarna for 29 years, 21 of them as head of the Department of Education. Well known in the area, especially in the Central Fruit and Vegetables, is also a new volunteer who joins the team Mercabarna Food Bank. It's Bias Ibanez, wholesale-retired entrepreneur, the firm Fruit Ibanez. They all work on site in order to get the most business, both for markets and the Complementary Activities Zone.

Extended store hours
In this increasing presence on the site, the Food Bank has decided to open the store for more hours Mercabarna. "This measure responds to a request of employers, and better leverage their work schedules and optimize the days on which it is more likely to have surpluses," said Carlos Lazaro. Until now, the store was open Monday through Friday from 14 to 17h. With enlargement, on Friday opened an hour until 18pm, while on Monday morning also open from 9am to 11am.

In addition, given the good experience last year, the Bank will open the store in August in order to make all those products that have commercial outlet for closing the shops. Open Monday and Friday from 12 to 17h.

The team of the Food Bank in Mercabarna

Albert Ubia
"Thanks to the new office began a new project. Initiate contacts with companies located in the Complementary Activities Zone (ZAC) to ensure that we make donations"

Carlos Lazaro
"Take advantage of visits to the ZAC to go to the stalls of the Central Fruit and Vegetable and remind them that we can provide products. Also encourage people working in Mercabarna to become volunteers of the Bank."