Church donates Hamrun property to serve as Malta’s first food bank
● Surplus food to be recovered and distributed to NGOs that help the poor and at risk of poverty
The Archdiocese of Malta and the Malta Food Bank Foundation yesterday signed an official agreement for the establishment of a food bank, the first of its kind in Malta.
The service, which will be administrated by the Malta Food Bank Foundation (MFBF), is aimed at recovering surplus food to distribute to NGOs that help the poor and those at risk of poverty.
The property, which was given to MFBF for a definite period of time, is in Hamrun and was previously used by Dar Fra Diegu as a food store.
The Archdiocese also committed itself to carry out structural work to support this initiative. Following the work which started this week, MFBF will provide the necessary equipment, such as shelving and machinery, as well as human resources for this initiative to be run on a voluntary basis.
The Malta Food Bank Foundation, which has been affiliated with the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) since 2011, will work as a bridge between the food supply chain donating surplus food and NGOs helping the most deprived to have access to the fundamental right to food.
This is essential to improve the sustainability of food systems and to prevent food waste. This is the mission of the 388 food banks of FEBA in Europe which are committed to feed the most deprived.
FEBA provides over four million meals on a daily basis to eight million people through 44,700 charitable organisations in 28 European countries.
At a meeting held yesterday at the Archbishop’s Curia in Floriana, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi who presided over the agreement said that this is another project through which the Church in Malta is responding in a tangible way to the reality of poverty in Malta.
He expressed his appreciation for the initiative of the Malta Food Bank Foundation that will contribute to the wellbeing of society.
The meeting was also attended by Mgr Charles Cordina, Episcopal Vicar for Diaconia, Andrew Azzopardi, Director of Kummissjoni Ejjew Għandi, Angela Frigo, Secretary General of the European Food Banks Foundation, and Irene Schembri, chairperson of the Malta Food Bank Foundation.
Mrs Schembri thanked Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi and Mgr Charles Cordina. She said that the service offered by the food bank will follow the teachings of Pope Francis who said: “This culture of waste has also made us insensitive to wasting and throwing out excess foodstuffs, which is especially condemnable when, in every part of the world, unfortunately, many people and families suffer hunger and malnutrition.”
The agreement was signed by Andrew Azzopardi on behalf of the Archdiocese of Malta and Irene Schembri on behalf of the Malta Food Bank Foundation.