Banco Alimentar is a national organization that exists throughout mainland Portugal with the aim of supplying food to families in difficulty. This campaign (food drive) is run twice each year, once before the school Summer holidays and again before the school Christmas holidays. This is when the children are no longer fed by free school meals and when families in difficulty need additional support to provide meals for their children.
We have been supporting Banco Alimentar for several years now and many of you will have volunteered for this event before. For those of you who are new to this campaign, your role is to be at the entrance/exit of the supermarket where you are volunteering and to hand out paper collection bags to the shoppers who enter the supermarket. The shoppers buy items from a list of goods (printed on the bags), then hand the full bags back in at the end of their shopping. We simply collect the bags from the shoppers and place them in supermarket trollies. When each trolley is full there is a contact number to call to have the food collected. We cannot accept any perishable items such as fresh produce or dairy products, if these items are offered please hand them back to the shopper and thank them for their support. We also cannot accept any donations of money, again please thank the shopper for their support and ask them to go online to the Banco Alimentar website where donations can be made.
The Banco Alimentar campaign is a national campaign so all of the Portuguese shoppers will be fully aware of what is happening, it is however normal to have to explain to the “estrangeiros” what is happening. There are no language skills required, however for those of you learning Portuguese it is a good opportunity to get in some practice. At the start of the first shift on each day a representative from Banco Alimentar will come to see you and check that everything is ready for that day’s collections. Senior members of the SCV will also be available, especially for shifts where there are first-time volunteers. In addition to supporting our communities, we want to make sure that our volunteers have a fun and stress-free experience.