Social organisation seeking for solutions to contribute to the distribution of food and hygiene products to families in a social emergency situation in a more regular and dynamic way.
The geographical area of the challenge covers Castelo Branco Municipality – part of NUT III (Beira Interior South) and NUT II (Center). The targeted population for this challenge lives in Castelo Branco Municipality and is constituted by families and individuals in a vulnerable socioeconomic situation, in result of precarious work or non-declared work, social benefits and minimum wage beneficiaries, and with children in a studying age at their responsibility. Recently, there have been diagnosed an increasing number of situations of socioeconomic fragility through the Families Integrated Support Department and to which technicians/experts have found difficulties to respond to due to the higher number of demands compared with the available resources. The entity looking for the solution, created in 1998, has had a very important and relevant role on a social level, due to its great contribution to the local development and inclusion of the most disadvantaged population in Castelo Branco Municipality.
From the diagnostics previously developed by ALAD experts, provided with results from a variety of projects, we can see that the severe economic needs from the families of Castelo Branco municipality are reflected in a poor and insufficient nutrition. Alongside this, it is noticeable that the responses to this problem are insufficient, not innovative, resulting in the absence of access to a proper nutrition by a great number of families in Castelo Branco municipality.
Within this context, one of the many social responses provided by ALAD’s Families Integrated Support Department provides and distributes food baskets through a partnership with Banco Alimentar (Food Bank) and Cáritas (Social organisation). However, lately, we can see an increasing inability to respond to the needs of food donations for these families. Partner Entities donations are not regular and everyday less and the number of families supported by ALAD is increasing. It is within this context that ALAD submits this challenge aimed to the municipality’s vulnerable families – aiming to contribute in tackling their food needs. One of the primary and base supports consists in creating and assuring the existence of conditions for a life with dignity, fighting hunger or food needs. We consider it urgent and necessary to create partnerships that will be available to take part in this challenge – and identify partnerships that can focus on a regular basis on the municipality’s families that might be in a social emergency situation and that need food and/or hygiene products. As food needs are a social problem that exists 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and continue to impair lots of people, we should have support in the same structure.
ALAD’s mission is to provide social integrated responses, promoting social inclusion near the most vulnerable groups. It is within this segment, with a sense of an important and altruistic mission, that ALAD proposes itself to the current challenge that aims to respond to the needs of families in a social emergency situation. Since 2006, ALAD has given support through the Families Integrated Support Department that aims to be an integrated, confidential and free social response. For this purpose, and to oppose to the identified needs, we have the occasional support of some institutions to face our demand for food, clothes and hygiene products, but this help has been shown insufficient having in consideration its sparse nature. For this challenge, APAD has a multidisciplinary technical board that ensures a successful responses to the social responses, having an exemplar path in social intervention, obtained as a managing entity to diverse projects, with an implementation rate above 90%.
The model that has been developed is insufficient and not sufficiently complete for the diagnosed needs. It is thus necessary to reinvent responses that to this date have not been implemented in the municipality. Innovative solutions include new methods to look to attract donations, and to manage the processes in a logical way so that the families’ support can be complete, frequent and regular. It is intended to find methods that will make the process of collecting donations and delivering it to the families easier and which will enhance donations, increase the number of products donated and the efficiency on their delivery to the beneficiaries. The creation of a technological solution could allow the Entities to register the both the donations and the demand with the desired regularity. It is envisage that this innovative solution also creates a social store, where the beneficiary would choose the products, based on a logic of trade (monthly each household receives X credits; voluntary work hours in favor of the community; donation of goods) contributing in this way to its autonomization.
ALAD has technicians that specialized in assisting and helping the families, and that, on a daily basis, apply their knowledge and work through the institution’s contact network with the objective of mitigate and/or solve food, social and economic poverty, through various projects that have been implemented throughout the years. ALAD is a recognized institution on a regional level, due to its almost 20 years of social intervention work - it will also provide its technical assets and means, so that they are fully available to put this challenge to work.