Food banks in Spain sound the alarm: longer queues and fewer donations

by Lorraine Williamson
food banks

In several Spanish cities, the situation at food banks is becoming increasingly dire. Since the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, more Spaniards have depended on them. At the same time, these organisations have to make do with fewer donations and money. 

Food prices have risen by an average of 14% in the past year. The prices of oil, milk, eggs and chicken are even more than 20% higher than last year. This situation has become the harsh reality in Spain, but also beyond. The vulnerable in society are particularly hard hit, according to conclusions from the food banks in Spain. 

Madrid food banks receive fewer donations 

According to the latest figures from food banks in the Madrid region, the number of meals distributed daily has risen from 186,000 to 187,000. This figure is compared to the beginning of this summer. 

On the other hand, the spokesman for a food bank in Madrid tells the Spanish newspaper Efe that they receive about 40% less food donations from agencies than before the war in Ukraine. Organisations that donate products and meals to food banks report having to spend more money to produce the same amount of food for their donations.

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Longer lines in Barcelona too 

Also in Barcelona, ​​the lines for the seventeen food banks in the city have become longer. Volunteer numbers have increased since the pandemic. But demand for this service was expected to stabilise after the pandemic and possibly fall to 2019 levels. 

However, due to the social and economic impact of Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine, it has only increased. It is therefore expected that demand also increase by the end of 2022 because more people are homeless and more families have to use food banks due to the ever-increasing prices. 

Andalucia is preparing for a tough autumn 

The future for food banks in Córdoba does not look rosy either. Inflation is driving demand up significantly. Consequently, collaborating organisations stocked up in July and August as they expect many people to use the food bank during autumn and winter. 

The same is happening in Granada. Demand here for food bank meals is even expected to be close to levels during the pandemic. Furthermore, in this Andalucian city, they also notice that less is being donated, both food and money to pay for everything. “We used to be able to give away ten products in a basket. But now there are only six,” says the spokesperson for one of the food banks in Granada. 

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