The Food Banks against Hunger (BA) collected 2,086 tons of food during a national campaign that took place over the weekend, a figure that represents a 24% increase compared to the campaign carried out in the same period in 2021, according to data from Portuguese Federation of Food Banks Against Hunger sent to Lusa.
Speaking to the Lusa, the president of the institution admitted that the most recent campaign “exceeded all expectations”, pointing out that, taking into account inflation, it would be difficult to predict that it would be possible to exceed the values of previous campaigns.
“It is perhaps the one in which the largest amount of donations was obtained. In terms of quantity, the value is very close to the 2017 campaigns, which was when the highest numbers were recorded”, said Isabel Jonet.
For the official, “the Portuguese joined enthusiastically” and the level of adherence demonstrates the “attention of the Portuguese towards the most vulnerable families and who face more difficult situations”.
“Today we all know families that are experiencing difficulties”, pointed out the official, admitting that this is one of the reasons why so many people have contributed.
Isabel Jonet recalled that the current situation is “totally different” from 2017, since the country faces an inflationary scenario and a lot of insecurity about the future because of the war in Ukraine, to which added the expectation that interest rates do not decrease in the short term.
“We could have foreseen much less donations and what we found was that the bags were a little less full, but there were many more people donating and volunteers helping”, she underlined.
Isabel Jonet even admitted that she never imagined achieving such a result: “It's incredible. This adhesion is a sign of a solidarity that does not slow down”.
Last year, the 21 Food Banks operating in Portugal distributed 34,551 tons of food (with an estimated value of 48 million euros).
In 2020, almost two million Portuguese were at risk of poverty, 200,000 more people than in the previous year, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) in January.