The lack of food is a reality for many in Costa Rica, who have no means to procure their daily meals. To the rescue is the Banco de Alimentos (Food Bank), that since March 21, 2012, has every day been the main source of food for some 18.000 needy.
Food Bank director, Napoleon Burgos, explains the program began with a donation of US$10.000 dollars from 9 companies. The initial companies were: CAC Porter Novelli, Cooperativa de Productores de Leche Dos Pinos R.L, DIPO, Florida Bebidas, Grupo Maseca (Demasa), Grupo Mutual, Punto Rojo, Unilever, Walmart de México y Centroaméricay AED (Asociación Empresarial para el Desarrollo).
Today, the Food Bank is supplied by 31 companies, including: Baum Soluciones, Coca-Cola, Griffith Laboratories, Mondelez International, Pipasa, Pizza Hut, Pozuelo, Procter & Gamble, SC Johnson and Hewlett-Packard (HP), among others.
Burgos adds that Dos Pinos and Florida Bebidas are two of the major donators to the program that in the two years has delivered more than 3.600 tons of food, equal to 20 million meals, distributed by some 200 welfare organizations
The organizations are chosen by the Food Bank after meeting requirements to ensure they make good use of the food.
The Banco de Alimentos has five support centres located in San José, Liberia, Guápiles, San Ramón and the Zona Sur, with some 30 volunteers who daily make sure the donations are in good condition and then sort and pack for pick up by the organizations.
“We act as a bridge between companies that have products to donate and those in need”, said Burgos.
Aside from the social impact, the program has also an environmental benefit. Accordign to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in developing countries -like Costa Rica – up to40% of the food produced is wasted.
Source: Banco de Alimentos