FEWER people are receiving supplies from the Alicante Province Food Bank. Numbers fell from 50,000 to 45,000 because they are no longer eligible under new European Union requirements stipulating that beneficiaries’ income should not top €5,000 a year.
The Food Bank sends the EU surplus supplies to Caritas and other charities in Alicante Province who distribute them amongst the needy.
Until now it was up to each association to ask recipients if they were living below the poverty line. That changed at the beginning of the year when Brussels announced that proof of their finances would be required from social services. Town or city hall employees will also be carrying out inspections.
Brussels is not yet asking for documentation, but will do so from October onwards.
“So far we have only explained the new situation to the charities,” said the Food Bank director, Juan Vicente Peral. “But that was enough for the number of users to fall by 10 per cent.”
Charities seeking Food Bank help have fallen from 250 to 225, added Peral, who foresaw a further descent in both organisations and users between now and October.