Spain’s Banco de Alimentos saw users double from 1 million in January to over 1.8 million by November in 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit Spain’s struggling families worse than the 2008 financial crisis, according to its principal food bank.
Director general of Spain’s network of 54 ‘Banco de Alimentos’ – Miguel Fernández – said thousands of families have been gone hungry due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Fernández said minors made up 350,000 of the 1.8 million current petitions for food across Spain.
It comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has made difficult the annual ‘Gran Recogida’ – the Banco de Alimentos traditionally recruits volunteers to stand outside supermarkets and collect items.
This year, the public donated by paying an extra amount at the cash till of a collaborating supermarket.
This service closed on 21st November – but wellwishers may still donate online until 13th December.
“Our fear is that numbers of applicants keep growing, as the health crisis is not over, and social and economic problems continue to worsen,” Fernández said.
“We have a crisis this year caused by an unprecedented health situation, and hundreds of families are helpless and without food.”
He added the biggest increase in petitions came from immigrants working on the black market, as well as workers in industries shut down by COVID-19 restrictions, such as the hospitality industry.
DID YOU KNOW?
Spain leads the EU in its annual collection of food.
Last year it gathered 21,000 tonnes of food – more than France’s 11,000 tonnes and Italy’s 8,400 tonnes.