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Extending a helping hand to the needy during this crisis

The Adintre soup kitchen in Fuengirola has been pushed to the limit.
The Adintre soup kitchen in Fuengirola has been pushed to the limit. / SUR
  • The Adintre soup kitchen in Fuengirola has been overwhelmed over the past fortnight and more volunteers are needed to cope with the demand

While most of the Costa del Sol's volunteer-run charities have suspended their usual services and closed shops and drop-in centres because of the state of alarm, others are working against the clock to look after those who are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Soup kitchens in the province of Malaga have been overwhelmed over the past ten days and their services are needed more now than ever. One of those that has decided to continue offering hot food to the homeless and the needy is the Adintre Association, a volunteer-run soup kitchen based in Fuengirola that was founded in 2001.

The association, which was granted the status of NGO in 2012, is made up of a group of people who work tirelessly to provide support to people most in need.

The soup kitchen, which is now operating from the Juan Gómez sports facility, has been pushed to the limit since the state of alarm was introduced and the volunteers have been providing hot food for 60 people each day.

Rising numbers

However, the numbers are rising daily and the charity is appealing for volunteers and donations in order to cater for the current demand.

The kitchen usually operates from Monday to Friday, but the volunteers have now extended the service to include weekends as well.

Three cooks and several volunteers are on hand to offer breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack and supper to the local homeless population.

President Joyce Gyimah has lived on the coast for 35 years and she has been involved with the project since it began. Joyce is currently working tirelessly to keep the soup kitchen running, but she admits that the current crisis is causing more problems than usual.

"We are struggling because we need volunteers, but people are afraid to come out of their homes. What we need most is money to be able to purchase supplies for the kitchen and the home service. Our goal is to provide a little quality of life for all the people in need."

The volunteers are also busy supplying emergency food parcels to underprivileged families and those with mobility problems. The association is also providing warm clothing and medicines, as well as looking after the elderly and those who are most at risk of contracting the virus.

Joyce usually organises supplies for around 60 families in Fuengirola and Mijas, but since the lockdown she has seen this figure rise to 140 families, although she is determined to help anyone that needs assistance.

"The food banks are struggling to supply food and the town halls cannot support us at present, but we still need to offer food to people who need to eat. Obviously we need to help the homeless, but also people who are stuck at home with children. Many have no income, so it is extremely important to help them all during these difficult times," Joyce explains.

The charity has set up a special Facebook page where donations can be pledged, while prospective volunteers can find information online (www.asociacionadintre.es).

Makeshift accomodation

Meanwhile, town halls have transformed public buildings into makeshift accommodation in a bid to protect the homeless.

Torremolinos town hall has installed 100 beds in the Albergue Inturjoven youth hostel, while Fuengirola council has adapted the Juan Gómez sports complex into a shelter that will offer accommodation to 40 people.