THE Christmas holidays, which in Spain last the traditional 12 days, are the season for giving.
Michelin-starred chefs like Joaquin Baeza and Ferdinando Bebardi as well as master pastry chef Paco Torreblanca are amongst those who are doing just that.
They have given their time and expertise to ensure that Alicante Gastronomica Solidaria (AGS) could deliver 12,000 festive menus – no different from those customarily eaten in Alicante province homes – to vulnerable collectives between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
“Our motivation is bringing hope and a smile to those who are having the hardest time,” declared Alicante Gastronomica Solidaria’s president Carlos Baño.
“It came into being as a social initiative receiving support from the public administrations to help and provide food for the disadvantaged, answering needs arising from the consequences of the Covid pandemic,” Baño said.
Alicante Gastronomica Solidaria evolved from the Alicante Gastronomica trade fair centring on Mediterranean food and lifestyle, the AGS president explained.
“We decided to put the fair’s resources at the service of those who most needed them,” Baño said.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, AGS’s 1,600 volunteers have cooked and distributed more than 350,000 meals for the homeless and the vulnerable in 35 municipalities.
The AGS also counts on support from more than 650 firms that provide services ranging from food supplies to logistics.
“This sums up the successful way in which collaboration between the public and private sectors can benefit society,” Baño said.
“It also demonstrates the hospitable, public-spirited and committed character of Alicante province’s population, together with the hospitality and restaurant sectors,” the AGS president declared
“They have all contributed their talent, effort and hard work to feed thousands of people each day in an especially complicated situation.”