Speaking to Lusa, the president of the Food Bank in the region, Fatima Aveiro, said that the demand for support has increased since January, although it is still not as significant as expected.

"We know it's a matter of time and, if this scenario continues, the increase in applications is predictable," she noted, indicating that since the beginning of the year the institution has received 25 new requests for help.

Fátima Aveiro stressed that this increase has the particularity of referring to "families who had never asked, but who, due to the current circumstances, cannot bear the burdens they have."

"They have a very hard time paying their debts, keeping their liquidity charges. There are people who had their lives organised, their expenses with the bank, with the benefits of the house, but, because of this inflation, people are having a lot of difficulty and, unfortunately, where they lack is in food and they cut back on food," she said.

Still, the Food Bank is currently supporting fewer people (7,500) compared to what it supported about a year ago (8,500), a situation that is justified, according to Fátima Aveiro, with the economic recovery after the covid-19 pandemic and the review of family processes by institutions.

However, with rising inflation, "there are those who keep their jobs, but disposable income cannot take on the burden," he said.

Contrary to demand, the donation of products to the Food Bank decreased significantly, a situation that worries the institution.

According to the official, the Food Bank collected 114 tons between January and April, and in the same period last year had collected about double.

"We have food in 'stock', we will still receive from campaigns that we have done and that come through maritime transport, plus those that we will collect (...), but it is little in the face of what we are supporting now and in the face of predictions of a worse scenario," said Fátima Aveiro.

The president of the Food Bank expressed, however, hope in the campaigns that will take place between May 04 and 14, so that it is possible to "guard against this predictable increase that will happen."

"And on the other hand, we're going to try to get people to mobilise for donations because we know that not all people give," she added.