We urgently need funds to keep The Food Project running and keep providing food and essential social care to nearly 500 poverty-stricken people in Arguineguín, the wider Mogán area, the Barranco de Arguineguín valley and parts of neighbouring San Bartolomé de Tirajana. In December 2022 Government support promised for the food bank distribution point on the south of Gran Canaria unexpectedly failed to materialise.
Can you help?
Any donation made here will go directly to the Food Project – we have no hidden administrative costs. Even as little as €20 will help provide essential perishable foods for one family for a month.
Even if you cannot donate please share our appeal so it reaches as many people as possible.
What is The Food Project?
The Food Project (Proyecto Vecinal de Alimentos de Mogán Nabohjelpen) is a food bank distribution point and community support centre based in Arguineguin. We provide regular food packages and social care to those with nowhere else to turn.
The Food Project started 15 years ago and has helped thousands of local residents, Canarians and foreigners alike, through their moments of greatest need. In addition to providing necessary food supplies, The Food Project also acts as a unique community hub, the only one of its kind, providing regular connections within the community, from where much-needed items, such as donated shoes and clothes, books and furniture can be redistributed to people and families who find themselves without resources.
When refugees fleeing the Ukraine war arrived on Gran Canaria, The Food Project was one of the first organisations to assist, and continues to reach out to people who find themselves in difficult circumstances beyond their control. Everybody has to eat.
The Food Project employs a dedicated social worker who helps assess those who are the most in need, and then guides people, no matter their education or background, on how to try to help themselves and progress their own life project, helping them with paperwork, training opportunities and job applications as well as navigating the health and housing system as well as what help there might be available for them in wider society.
Spain’s social care system can be quite basic, and often very time-limited, and many people find themselves falling through the cracks. The 25 or so regular Food Project volunteers help collect, distribute and allocate food, working with various local organisations and suppliers to ensure that no-one is left hungry while trying to survive these difficult times. Their work is supported by the Las Palmas Food Bank and the European Food Bank as well as local businesses and community groups all working together to help keep people off the streets and avoid total social exclusion.
At the start of 2020 The Food Project had managed to reduce the number of people they were helping to just 164, in 69 families. During the pandemic the numbers of people needing help more than quadrupled, to more than 800 people, at its peak, spread over 286 families. These figures now still stand at more than triple the number of people needing assistance.
The local council, under a previous administration, had provided premises for the project to work from, however, during the pandemic, this support was suddenly removed without consultation.
Facing a more-than four-fold increase in the numbers relying on the food they provide, and following a 17 day hunger strike, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria (island government) offered their support for The Food Project via a direct nominal grant, specifically to pay a private rent, a full-time social worker and necessary transport costs, ensuring continued supplies from the two separate food bank funds, administered by the Banco de Alimentos de Las Palmas, that approve and support their efforts. Extra food (not donated by supermarkets) – including fresh milk, potatoes, vegetables, fruit juice and eggs – has always been purchased using donations from the local community.
Despite having assured initial funding for the years 2021 & 2022, the island government in the end only delivered funding for the first of those years and unexpectedly did not include any in the budget for the second year, making no efforts to inform the project that the commitment would not be fulfilled. Without warning their institutional support stopped, leaving The Food Project in sudden need of immediate funds to meet their ongoing overheads for rental of their storage premises, the social worker’s wages and transport. This has endangered the entire community venture.
We are urgently looking for donations to keep The Food Project running whilst we seek contingencies, alternative governmental or institutional grants and other more sustainable forms of funding. We really want to find businesses who believe in Corporate Social Responsibility to help us make up for the lack in local government support for the nearly 200 families who rely heavily on this private initiative, which has been helping people since 2008.
The Food Project must have suitable storage facilities on the premises to continue to receive support from The Food Bank of Las Palmas and the EU Food Bank, without it everything stops, and nearly 200 families will go without food, there is no Plan B.
The facts and figures
- Full-time social worker: 1
- Number of volunteers: 25
- Number of coordinators: 5
- Number of Families helped in December 2022: 179
- Number of individuals helped in December 2022: 456
- Monthly rent: €2400
(>200m2 including separated storage spaces, cold storage, kitchen, office, emergency shower facilities, washing machine and disabled toilet)
- Social Worker: €1800
(inc social security costs, this currently represents a cost of about 10€ per family per month)
- Perishable food costs/month: 2000€
(1€ per person per week, representing a cost of about 20€ per month for a family of 5)
URGENT Help required
Any donation made here will go directly to the Food Project – we have no hidden administrative costs.
Even as little as €20 will help provide essential perishable food and support for one family for a month.
Even if you cannot directly donate please share our appeal so it reaches as many people as possible. Sharing really is caring!
In the longer term, moving forward:
- If you have an alternative location (particularly in the Arguineguín area) that could possibly fulfil our Health & Safety requirements for storing and distributing food please contact us, reducing our monthly rental costs would be a huge benefit.
- Are you experienced with writing grant proposals or applications? Particularly seeking support from Canarian Regional Institutions, the Government of Spain and/or the European Union? We need your help
- Can you support the employment of our vital social worker? She is not only brilliant, committed and fully intimate with our project, and the needs of all our families, she is pretty spectacular at helping people move forward; and she even volunteers to help us in her own spare time!
- Do you know transport suppliers who might be able to supplement our current provision?
We would love to hear from you.
For now, our focus is absolutely on trying to stay open and continue forward from where we are. The most important things we need are time and energy and funds to stop The Food Project from having to suddenly close, which would be extraordinarily difficult to recover from. We are counting on you to tell the world and help us adapt to the reality of this unwelcome situation, we know that together we can help the helpers and find the right solution.