Inflation fills soup kitchens in Portugal

Like every weekday, Maria Alice goes to the dining room. Operator’s Voice, a social presence in the center of Lisbon for takeaway rations. The older woman has been coming regularly for a year, although she admits it’s more urgent due to the rise in inflation in recent months. food prices skyrocketed In supermarkets. “I eat daily with what they gave me here, now I eat it for lunch, and at night I eat some bread and a piece of fruit. Such is life, everything is so bad“, mint.

Alice is one of them. 43 people, mostly elderly, those who go to the dining room of the enterprise. Responsible for social action, Rita Governo, explains that despite requests for assistance, this is the maximum number of places they can offer with the funding they receive from the Portuguese government. They did not stop increasing In recent months. “The end of some of the support the government has offered during the pandemic, combined with rising prices in supermarkets. This situation once again Situation similar to April 2020‘ he points.

low pensions

Rising inflation has placed welfare recipients and retirees even more vulnerable in Portugal, where more than half of retirees receive salaries. a Pension between 278 and 402 euros -The minimum amount determined by law, based on years, according to the latest data from Social Security. According to Governo, not enough wages to face the rising cost of living and rental price in the main cities of the country. Alice agrees: “I worked in a household goods store for over 40 years, but my salary was very low and I am entitled to a very small pension. That’s right, there are a lot of people who are just like me,” she said.

The Portuguese Government has approved various aids for the most vulnerable to try to face the crisis; discount on the price of gas cylinders or its complement 60 Euro per month for shopping cart. Some support that people, like Carlos Jorge, one of the attendees of the A Voz de Operário dining hall, believe is positive, albeit temporary. “Apparently not, but this money helped me a little because I was asking my neighbor for money every month. Five euros one day, ten another day… and I had to return it at the end of the month. with this help I didn’t have to ask for anything and that’s a relief for me,” she explains.

insufficient support

However, social organizations they will not help solve the situation in the long run. On behalf of the President of the Portuguese Federation of Food Banks, Elizabeth JonettIn Portugal, the solution lies in improving the average wages and pensions of the population, which remains among the lowest in the European Union. “The most needy people live so badly that any help is good, but still palliative measures does not allow these people to change their lives in any way. About one in Portugal 19 percent of the population is at risk of povertyIt’s a structural problem and it gets worse in a time of crisis,” he assures.

Despite protests from trade unions and social organizations, the Portuguese Government refused to raise civil servants’ salaries above the 0.9% set at the beginning of the year and was not in favor of improving the extraordinary increase at the very least. pensions agreed at the end of last year, 10 euros per month.

According to Jonet, this will put more families in a vulnerable position, but the activist is confident that the rise in prices will. does not affect foraging. “Everyone knows of a family that is in worse shape today than before. People who live day by day and who are in a more difficult situation with the increase of inflation. Fortunately, The Portuguese support and we saw almost no reduction in the amount of food collected in the last campaign in May.”

Source: Informacion

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