Re-Food comes to the Algarve By Len Port
A dynamic programme to help end food waste and hunger could be introduced to Lagos and other urban centres in the western Algarve if there is sufficient local interest among volunteers. So says Hunter Halder, founder and coordinator of the so-called Re-Food project, which is making such a positive impact in Lisbon. Halder, 62, an American who has been living in Portugal for 23 years, wants large numbers of volunteers to replicate his programme wherever the need exists.
Portuguese federation of food banks and private charities running soup kitchens.
of the previously wasted food, every day, rain or shine.
From its inception in 2011, Re-Food now involves some 750 volunteers collecting and repackaging food from more than 300 outlets and distributing it to 845 beneficiaries. Almost all of Lisbon’s 24 parishes have a Re-Food team; either already in action or now being formed, says Halder.
“We deliver that food to people who are not being served by existing institutions, be they homeless, jobless or in any other condition that leaves them without the means to secure the food they need.
He recently ‘seeded’ the programme in the Algarve. Public meetings in Almancil and Algoz attracted many potential volunteers. Moves are going ahead to introduce Re-Food in the municipalities of Loulé and Albufeira. Similar meetings are expected to be held fairly soon in Faro and Portimão. “Anyone interested in getting the project started in the Lagos area should attend the Portimão meeting,” Halder, told ‘Tomorrow’. Large numbers of volunteers are needed to handle food collection and distribution at the freguesia level.
“We go door to door to find and serve those who are ashamed of their need and who, therefore, are practically invisible.” The project is non-profit-making and no one connected with it is paid anything. Having recently introduced it in other Portuguese cities, including Oporto, and with it now coming to the Algarve, Halder foresees no limit to the Re-Food model. He believes it can go national or even global. To get more details about how to get involved please go to the website www.re-food.org/blog or to the Refood Portugal Facebook page.
The basic concept is simple: Volunteers, each working just two hours a week, collect unsold food from local sources and deliver it to people who would otherwise go hungry.
“We target every single scrap of excess prepared food within our neighbourhoods by going to every café, restaurant and grocery store every day they are open,” said Halder.
Although run in a somewhat different way, Re-Food complements the work of the
“Local volunteers - walking, riding bikes and using cars when necessary - harvest 100%
A hostel that helps
good way to give the young people they work with skills as well as confidence.
internal and external including the bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms.
The new hostel in Meia Praia is called Brisa Do Tempo or Breeze Time. Young people linked to other CASLAS projects will also be able to get involved with the hostel project.
They also need paint and some volunteers who can give their time to help in a whole raft of ways from painting to building.
An appeal has been launched to get a very special kind of hostel up and running in Meia Praia. It is a project that is being set up by CASLAS (the Centro de Assistência Social Lucinda Anino dos Santos) which helps disadvantaged or excluded young people ranging from the age of six to 18. The idea is to turn a former elementary school into affordable accommodation that would be staffed by disabled, disadvantaged or unemployed young people who live in the area. Ana Luz, who is the hostel’s technical coordinator, said they believe the hostel is a
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It’s hoped that the hostel will provide cheap accommodation to everyone but will particularly focus on holiday camps, school exchanges and meetings between institutions. They want to promote tourism that is accessible to everyone. Organisers also plan to work with partners from across the local community so they can provide workshops as well as sea and wind sports like surfing, windsurfing and sailing together with other outdoor activities. The project is being funded by Programa Escolhas but the organisers are also appealing for help from the community to get the hostel ready to open. They need building materials for all areas of the hostel –
The beds at the hostel will be made out of wooden pallets following a design that has been created by a company called Elidesing so if you have any pallets to spare they would be more than welcome. If you would like to get involved in some way then please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 917894359 or 282 799 067. The Centre for Social Assistance Lucinda Anino dos Santos, CASLAS, is an organization that was founded 75 years by Lady Lucinda Anino dos Santos. It works with the local authorities to helps children, young people and others that are socially disadvantaged.