Food Aid Project receives 2,000 emergency requests in 3 weeks

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Food Aid Project of the Malta Trust Foundation has received close to 2,000 requests for help in just three weeks as the economic crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic further destabilises the vulnerable and poor in society.

This project was swiftly set up when coronavirus hit Malta, and it has been supporting NGOs struggling to keep up as well as taking in referrals from the Foodbank Lifeline Foundation, which was unable to take on new cases.

Malta Trust Foundation chair Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, and Anne McKenna, who has volunteered in this sector for five years, said they were witnessing an avalanche of requests from desperate people who have suddenly found themselves without a job, unable to cope and hungry.

“I have three children and nothing to cook for them”

McKenna said: “The situation is harrowing for all the team to receive desperate calls for help. The other day I got a call from a mother telling me, ‘I have three children and nothing to cook for them; please, please help me’.

“There are so many people who need food. From families living hand to mouth and have suddenly found themselves without an income; to substance abuse outpatients who are sleeping rough; fathers unable to pay their child’s maintenance; single mothers; and those facing high rents and possible eviction.”

The Malta Trust Foundation is also collaborating with NGOs — such as Caritas, the Millennium Chapel, Little Sisters of the Poor, Richmond Foundation, St Jeanne Antide and Gozo’s Foundation for Social Welfare, among others — to provide food supplies as their resources are overstretched as they struggle to help the increasing number of people coming forward.

Coleiro Preca said: “We are only able to help all these people thanks to the generosity and big hearts of the numerous businesses who have come forward offering to donate supplies, monetary funds and groceries. We hope many more will provide support so that we can continue providing these people with a temporary lifeline to get back on their feet.”

The team behind the Malta Trust Foundation is working hard to coordinate the spike in demand for food and putting emergency packs of food for those in need.

Those wishing to help to Food Aid Project of the Malta Trust Foundation can call on 2148 4662. Meanwhile, those wishing to donate money enabling the Foundation to purchase emergency groceries can call on 5140 2002 to donate €2; 5150 2094 for €5; 5160 2015 for €10; or send an SMS to 5061 8810 to donate €6.99. For food donations, you may call the emergency number: 2149 1550.

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