One of the most amazing stories of the lockdown has been the associations which have mobilised quickly to help those in need. Among the most visible has been Nadie Sin Comer (Nobody Without Food), founded by Idaira González in Arrecife, which has spread all over island. We spoke to Katy Mawson, who helps run the association’s food bank in Playa Blanca.
How did the lockdown hit Playa Blanca, Katy?
People think Playa Blanca is affluent, but a lot of the people here rely on tourism jobs. There wasn’t much demand here until early April, but then the calls started coming in.
Tell us about the food bank.
We started the food bank last week after spending most of the lockdown distributing food door-to-door. It’s open every Friday morning at the MVP Pool & Spa shop, and it’s run by Ben Morris, Dave Poxon, Carilone and Stephen Cox, myself and other team members.
Who comes to the food bank?
They’re all sorts: the unemployed, the homeless, people who haven’t received ERTE payments yet and some expats that don’t know the ropes. However, we can only help people who’ve sent us a request and received an invitation, as we need to make sure there’s enough food for everyone. Requests should be sent to www.nadiesincomerlanzarote.info
What could change the economic situation?
Rent relief would make a big difference. Even though it’s illegal to evict people during the State of Alarm, it doesn’t stop landlords pressuring tenants. Some of those landlords are in a similar situation, of course, but there’s a lot of stress and worry.
Does anyone try it on?
A few. We’ll “red list” people if we think they’re taking the mickey, or if they’re abusive to our staff . But the vast majority are genuinely in need.
How are you funded?
Entirely by donations to Nadie Sin Comer, which are then distributed by workers in Arrecife, Playa Blanca, Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise. Donations of food and personal hygiene or cleaning items are always welcome, too.
How can people help you?
Cash donations are great and allow us to buy what we need. Donations of food and personal hygiene or cleaning items are always welcome, too. What’s really important is that people spread the word, so that the people who need us know we’re here.
Any shout-outs you’d like to give?
Overseas Supermarket have been great, operating as a drop-off point for donations during the lockdown. We’ve also had help from MVP, Tierney Distribution, Europ Foods and loads of publicity from Monster Radio. Thanks to everyone.