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Caritas wins bid to run food bank

Government hands over control of assistance project to reach more people

Food aid stored at a Caritas Macau food bank Food aid stored at a Caritas Macau food bank
  • ucanews.com reporter, Macau
  • Macau
  • September 23, 2011
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The Social Welfare Bureau has chosen Caritas Macau to run its Short-term Food Assistance Programme for a two-year period.

A cooperation agreement was signed this week for a food bank service, which was introduced by the government in July 2009 after inflation rose sharply.

The program has so far provided food for around 2,200 people, who are mostly from low-income families or unemployed. Caritas Macau will take over the running of the service on September 26.

Iong Kong-lo, the Social Welfare Bureau chief, said the government will inject 10 million patacas (US$1.24 million) into to the program, which is expected to help 6,000 people.

The government decided to outsource the service to a local NGO in order to help more people through NGO networks. Caritas Macau was awarded the task because of services it provides, such as social workers checking on the welfare of families it assists, Iong said.

Initially, Caritas Macau will look to help people listed on their database, who are not on the welfare bureau’s radar said Paul Pun Chi-meng, secretary-general of Macau diocese’s social service arm.

“Macau is affluent but not for all people. Some citizens have difficulties adapting to social challenges or expressing their needs when under pressure and thus, they hide themselves away,” he said.

“This is especially so for the ‘sandwich class,’ who are not eligible for social security but struggle hard to survive on their income as a result of inflation and high property prices. They feel embarrassed seeking help,” he said.

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