Current Affairs
Church donates property for Malta’s first food bank

The Church has made a property available in Ħamrun that forms part of Dar Fra Diegu to be used for storage purposes as Malta’s first food bank. In agreement with the Malta Food Bank Foundation, surplus food is to be stored there to be passed to NGOs to be distributed among the poor and those at risk of poverty.

Throughout Europe 88 million tons of food are discarded annually while many millions of people – also in Europe – have no food to eat. European food banks distribute surplus foods donated by supermarkets among others, to the needy and this will soon be happening in Malta for the benefit of those that do not have the finance to buy food.

Work is ongoing at the Fra Diegu warehouse to create space by demolishing walls to make way for the food bank.

The Church has made the property available for a definite period to the Malta Food Bank Foundation which will manage the bank. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi explained this as another example of the way the Church is responding to the realities of poverty. He said this is in line with the work of the Church, that of helping those in need.

The Foundation’s Chairperson, Irene Schembri, said they will be requesting food importers, hotels and supermarkets to offer surplus food rather than dispose of it, or food that is nearing expiry.

Ms Schembri said the food will be of good quality and not foodstuffs that have been thrown away and then recycled. That would be absolutely not acceptable.

She also made it clear that food will not be directly distributed to people in need but will be given to 15 organisations who work with poor people and that besides helping provide people without the money to buy food, it will also be serving further purposes.

The Chairperson said it will also help address food not to be wasted as well as helping the environment. Ms Schembri said the project has the backing of the European Federation of Food Banks who will follow-up on the way the system is operating in Malta.