Our cooperation with Dolores, Gabriel and Begoña of El Samaritano started in 2009 when their association El Samaritano was recommended to us by the town hall as one that needed extra help, particularly because of hardship produced by the financial crisis and austerity measures in Spain at the time. At that time El Samaritano, along with other charities such as Cruz Roja and Cáritas, worked with the Banco of Alimentos and obtained some basic supplies from food banks organised by the European Union. The families they worked with were sent to them by the Town Hall Social Services department. In Adapt we started a campaign asking members to buy just one extra item of food every time they went shopping, avoiding the staples such as rice and pasta provided by the food bank. This way we were able to ensure that genuinely needy families were receiving much needed supplements to their diet.
Currently we are continuing to provide food for families helped by El Samaritano although they have reduced their workload and no longer receive supplies from the Banco de Alimentos. They are working with about 12 to 15 families who have no other access to help, or for whom official help is insufficient to cover their basic needs. The money raised by our annual pantomime (usually around 2,000€) is divided up to buy food on a monthly basis. In addition we prepare Christmas presents for the children and families every year and respond it occasional appeals for toiletries, clothing and furniture. Our members also bring food items along to the monthly meetings, especially cooking oil, UHT milk, non-perishable tins of meat and vegetables, tomato paste, rice, pasta, flour and basic toiletries.
Dolores and Begoña last visited us at the Adapt monthly meeting in February 2019 to bring us up to date on their much needed work. Those of us in Adapt who have regular contact with them feel privileged to know such hard-working and generous people.