Bancosol has been busier than ever before. At a recent presentation of its activity last year, it was revealed that the pandemic has increased the number of people in need and the food bank, whose full name is Banco de Alimentos de la Costa del Sol, had to make extra efforts to cover the basic needs of people in Malaga with the fewest resources. Last year they distributed 7,300 tonnes of food, a landmark in the history of the association. That was one million kilos more than in the previous year.
Bancosol says this significant growth has been possible because the number of associations who help with distribution has risen to 184, and the number of collaborating companies increased by 43% from 314 to 451 last year.
The president, Diego Vázquez, explained that the organisation provides some ready-cooked meals as well as food items, which they call their ‘fifth range’. In 2021 they supplied 927,000 portions, which was double the amount the previous year. This is important because these meals provide essential calories and nutrition.
Last year, Bancosol assisted 53,419 people in total, of whom 19,922 were children. Because so many children need food, the organisation has changed its list of foods and is asking for more products such as milk to be donated, because these tend to run out quickly.
Bancosol also works with schools to make pupils aware of the need not to waste food, as 40% of items that households buy end up in the rubbish bin, and holds courses to boost people's self-esteem so they learn to cope better when life take a turn for the worst.
Also taking part in the presentation was Natacha Rivas, the second vice-president of the Malaga provincial authority, who praised Bancosol for helping those in need in rural villages as well as larger towns on the coast.
The Junta de Andalucía’s delegate in Malaga, Carmen Casero, also said that Bancosol is a great ally to the regional government. “The pandemic has been a great challenge and Bancosol has helped us enormously in channelling assistance where it was most needed,” she said.
Diego Vázquez also said that Bancosol will soon begin to receive visits from groups and individuals who are interested in knowing how the organisation and its 4,500 volunteers work.