From distributing 240 food packs in their debut year in 2015, to feeding more than 6,400 people during the first five months of 2019, and estimating to help more than 16,500 people in need by the end of this year, the team at Foodbank Lifeline continue to see a worrying increase in demand for food packages.
In a press conference held at Foodbank Lifeline in Valletta on Wednesday 26th June Founder and Chairwoman Rev. Kim Hurst, described all the work that has been done in the past 4 years. This included the background as to why the Foodbank opened, the success of the yearly RAC (Reverse Advent Calendar) campaign and the growing number of human trafficking victims who are being referred to Foodbank Lifeline.
"If everyone in Malta gave us €1, we could run the foodbank for one year." - Rev. Kim Hurst
With Malta's national minimum wage (€762) being below the European Union average (€922), and ever-increasing rent costs, people are undoubtedly struggling to afford food on a daily basis.
"Each year the number of people coming to us has increased and in May the number went up again. We are now handling out between - €4,000 to €5,000 worth of food a week,” Rev. Hurst told Times of Malta.
After the press conference, Rev. Kim Hurst was interviewed by Newsbook where she appealed to those in the catering industry to begin adding €1 to their cover bills, explaining how for a table of 6, it will cost less than 20c per person.
President Emeritus Marie Louise Colerio Preca was introduced as the newest member to join Foodbank Lifeline's Board of Directors. Thanking Rev. Kim Hurst for having a vision to help the poor and stating that authorities need to address the issue of rising rents and more serious issues to deal with to aid in helping those in need.
Izola Bank plc and Alf Mizzi Foundation, Foodbank Lifeline’s two main sponsors, expressed their gratitude and support by agreeing to further support Foodbank Lifeline, to continuously aid them reaching their goal to end hunger in Malta. Andrew Mifsud, CEO of Izola Bank plc, also paid a personal tribute towards Foodbank Lifeline’s Chairperson, Rev. Kim Hurst, stating that without her care, dedication and hard work, Foodbank Lifeline would never have come into existence.
Several press associations, such as TVM, Newsbook, Super One and Times of Malta, were present for this conference in order to spread the word to their viewers on all the work that Foodbank Lifeline has done as well and is prepared to do in order to continue working on its mission to end hunger in Malta.
Due to Foodbank Lifeline not being supported by the government, it is up to the individuals, families, companies and schools In Malta to help fight the growing battle of hidden poverty. To read more about the press conference, click the links below.