18% of the beneficiaries of the food banks in Spain are precarious workers
90.2% of people who receive aid from the European Food Program suffer extreme poverty, despite the fact that among the beneficiaries there is 18% who have a job and one in three has been receiving aid for more than three years.
Red Cross and the Spanish Federation of Food Banks (Fesbal), the two entities in charge of distributing the European Aid Fund for the most disadvantaged people -more than 1.4 million in Spain-, have carried out a survey study with 27,443 beneficiaries , 2,320 distribution organizations, 875 consumption organizations and 4,000 volunteers.
Poverty has been chronicled in one in three people, who have been in the food program for 3 to 5 years due to the lack of material they suffer, and stresses that even people who are working have an income level that does not allow them to leave of poverty.
According to the study, 13% live with income below 100 euros and 60%, with less than 500 euros .
The program allowed in 2017 to support more than 1,440,000 people in Spain, by delivering 87,305,105 kilos / liters of staple foods, little perishable and easy to transport and storage.
The number of beneficiaries has been reduced compared to 2016 by 17% – when they were 1,517,525 – and there is 35% less than in 2014 when the FEAD program (2014-2020) was launched, which had 2.2 million.
” There are people who have come out of extreme poverty , but those who remain are in an even more precarious situation,” explained Francisco Greciano, who is responsible for the program at the Federation of Food Banks.
The most vulnerable profiles are the short-term unemployed (more than two years), the elderly, the child population (in 3 of every 4 households there are children) and foreigners.
The study shows the low level of social coverage: only four out of ten people receive minimum income. 52 percent of the beneficiaries are unemployed and half of them are more than two years old.
Seven of each beneficiaries are women, in 80% of the cases they live in households with children and in 15% they head exclusively those households.
“Poverty hinders the departure of women who also suffer gender violence, who have children and who receive scant assistance as victims” of male mistreatment , explained María Jesús Gil Meneses, of the Red Cross.
Users value this program: 96% would recommend it, but they also suggest that there be more frequent distribution , that more products are included (fresh, cleaning and hygiene) and that there is less bureaucracy in the processing of aid.
“A recovery is taking place, but it translates into the groups we serve, we see a small group that recovers because of the labor insertion because nobody will leave if they do not have a source of income”, but also “a significant percentage of workers who continue needing help to reach the end of the month, “said the president of the Red Cross, Javier Senent.
For his part, the president of the Spanish Fund for Agricultural Guarantee (FEGA), Miguel Angel Riesgo, recalled that the European program began 30 years ago to distribute surplus agricultural products and put them in the hands of vulnerable people and stressed that Spain it is the second country with the highest percentage of funds spent.
From the Federation of Food Banks, its president, Juan Vicente Peral, has highlighted the fact that “the vast majority of those served by the program live in extreme poverty and many of the people are long-term unemployed with the risk that his situation is chronicled. “
“Although the beneficiaries have been reduced, the amounts distributed since the program was launched in 2014 have almost doubled ,” he concluded.