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Leftover food from hotels, restaurants and supermarkets could help feed 40,000 vulnerable families across Malaga province
Poverty

Leftover food from hotels, restaurants and supermarkets could help feed 40,000 vulnerable families across Malaga province

The provincial authority project is expected to be launched in 2025 and will last for five years, with 10 million euros earmarked for it

Cristina Vallejo

Malaga

Wednesday, 26 June 2024, 15:27

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Leftover food from restaurants, hotels and supermarkets in Malaga province could be used to help feed 40,000 families in need.

Provincial authority president Francisco Salado presented the new plan this Wednesday 26 June called, Malaga No Caduca (Malaga won't expire), in which it aims to help vulnerable families. "Thanks to this action we will be able to get closer to the reality of these 40,000 families and design ways to resolve situations of loneliness or unemployment," he said.

The initiative has three objectives: social, to reduce food wastage, and improve socio-labour exclusion and health issues, with special attention to the elderly and children, Salado pointed out. "We will not limit ourselves to feeding people, but the challenge is to improve their nutrition, which is sometimes related to lack of education or obesity and, in turn, also to health costs," he added. The second objective cited by Salado is to reduce the environmental impact of food waste, as more than 200 tonnes of good food is thrown away every year. And the third is an economic objective, as food donations can help the companies involved to improve their tax bill and also their reputation.

"The project is broader than the use of extra food: there will be technical specialists in nutrition to see what diet the beneficiaries need, resolutions will be thought of to eliminate any loneliness that may exist and people in vulnerable situations due to employment will have work set up. It is a project to get people out of vulnerability," Salado said.

Francisco Salado, president of the provincial authority, during the presentation of the project. Migue Fernández

The initiative puts the provincial authority in contact with the private sector such as the hospitality and hotel associations Mahos and Aehcos - and the beneficiaries, thanks to the participation of Bancosol, which already has a well-stocked database of vulnerable families at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

From 2025 onwards

The project is expected to be launched in 2025 and will last for five years, with 10 million euros earmarked for it and paid to the company awarded the contract.

But before the project is launched, an event will be held in September to present the project to the province's municipalities. In October, the tender will be launched to contract the company which Salado said will be responsible for things such as nutrition, refrigeration of food, distribution, and social inclusion among the families in need.

"It is the first social impact contract to be signed in Spain," said Salado. This means that the payment to the service provider is based on results, which are detailed according to each concept, each of which has an associated metric: food distribution, job placement, the fight against unwanted loneliness. "Hopefully it will be 100% fulfilled and paid in full, because the return and the social benefits would be much greater. Incalculable," Salado added.

Food safety

Food safety will be a crucial element in the project, with the Junta involved to ensure good food packaging, labelling and traceability, so there is no health risk, as both processed food for consumption within 24 hours and non-perishable products will be distributed.

The involvement of the technology platform Air Miles will also be very important, with its representative at the event, Carlos Dimas, pointing out the power of the public-private collaboration project. Antonio Guevara, researcher at the Andalusian Institute of Tourism, also valued the project as an initiative in which there is also public-public collaboration (provincial authority, town councils and university). Dolores Olmo, from the Confederation of Businessmen of Malaga, pointed out that the keys to the initiative are the coordination between all involved, as well as the automation of processes for greater efficiency and traceability, both of the food and of the people attended to.

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