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 Malta Independent on Sunday - - NEWS -

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.

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