Solidarity in times of the pandemic

By Paula Martins, in News · 27-11-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Solidarity in times of the pandemic

In March 2020, the pandemic hit the health of the Portuguese, as well as their pockets. Layoffs, dismissals, situations of serious economic individual crisis, were all the cause of concern for a group of Swedish people who wanted to make a difference in the world.

The problems facing Portugal led to the creation of Food & Supplies Lagos, an organisation able to support the needs of Portuguese most affected by the crisis.

Following a few conversations at the Clube de Ténis e Padel de Lagos, the group began to share ideas about the catastrophic situation that was going on in Portugal, namely in Lagos, with many people losing their incomes. From these concerns, an associative movement arose to feed people in serious need situations. In Lagos the predominant economic activity, direct and indirectly, is tourism, which suffered big drops this year. In Portugal, 60,000 people who worked in this sector have already lost their jobs.

Food & Supply Lagos brings together a group of volunteers who help with the purchase and delivery of food. Their group exists due to the help of their donors. This money is used to feed Portuguese people in need, said Susanne Lotstrom, a member of Food & Supply Lagos.

“In the beginning it was difficult to know where the help was needed and Ricardo Barroso Fonseca at Clube de Ténis e Padel de Lagos helped a lot and advised us of three associations that now we work with”, explained Susanne. Fonte da Vida, Santa Maria church and Mustard Seed are the associations with the most direct contact with the needy families which Food & Supply Lagos helps through the purchase of food and supplies to give directly to those who are in need.

It was then, in May that “together with Ricardo, everything was possible”, said Susanne. It is important to know who Ricardo is, as he is the holder of the bank account to which people can make donations. “We did not form an association because it requires costs”, highlight Viveka Feder, a member of the organisation. Thus, the money goes to an account whose holder is Ricardo Barroso Fonseca, “who is a person who has our complete trust and who has been linked to social causes in Lagos for many years”, she added. Food & Supply Lagos also wrote a post about him in the Facebook group to make sure that volunteers, donors and all those who want to help, know who this man is and how important he is for the charity project.

At this time, demand is increasing more and more for help and the organisation has to increase its revenues to cope with the growing support requests. “At the moment, we are helping more than 200 households and requests continue to grow, so increasing donations is important so we don’t leave anyone behind, these people need us,” said Susanne. Remembering that, at the moment without permission to organise events, it has become even more difficult to raise money for the organisation. “Every Euro counts, there are many ways to help”, reads the Facebook post.

In the Facebook group Food & Supplies Lagos there is a strong desire to help from many members of the community. On the page you can also see updates, “once a week we write a post with photos so our donors know what’s going on. Usually we go to Intermaché on a Wednesday to do the shopping and then we make a post informing people about what was spent, what we bought, etc”, said Viveka Feder.

A question that arises is why these people, who are resident here, come to Portugal and start to help the Portuguese people with such a gesture of solidarity? Susanne responded, on behalf of the group, with an instant answer: “Portugal has welcomed us, so we have the duty to do this for Portugal”.



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