According to this portal’s sources, more and more people seem to be resorting to the Food Bank at Triq l-Ifran, in Valletta. 

Speaking to the Voice of the Workers, a person who wished to remain anonymous explained what she is going through in life and why she ended up with no option but to seek help from the Bank. She said that she is separated from her husband and is bringing up four young children. She is still waiting to be called to start work at a Government Department. This was meant to be the last month during which she could turn to the Food Bank for help as she has already surpassed the assistance period of six weeks. However, a change in her financial situation seems unlikely and so she will have to continue to look for more help. 

This person had harsh words to say to this portal about people who rent out apartments. “Some are heartless, without a conscience … they are to blame for the social problems that people like me are experiencing … they up the rent without notice and if you do not pay you end up on the street and they do not care.” 

One asks, why in this best of times, where the economy is doing well, should Malta have a Food Bank? It appears that the rich and the people in the fold are getting richer and doing well, while those who are living in poverty are being ignored. One finds those who live from month to month, without savings. Some people, for instance, have their bank accounts frozen and so do not have access to their money. The Food Bank helps in such cases to try and mitigate the suffering of some individuals. 

The majority of people who resorts to the Food Bank depends on social benefits. At the moment, however, there are situations where even people who do have a job cannot make ends meet with the salary they are getting. They are ending up begging. 

Research carried out by this portal revealed that since the end of October the number of people who access the Food Bank increased because seasonal work has come to an end and a number of people suddenly ended up jobless. One must remember that September is also a difficult month for vulnerable families because of the added expenses related to the new scholastic year which eat up any extra money that would have gone into buying food. 

The Food Bank is not solving the problem by providing food to those who need it. There are hundreds of people living in poverty. Although the majority of people who receives help from the Food Bank is Maltese, there are also a considerable number of foreigners from European countries, from Africa, from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. They need help to find accommodation with a reasonable rent and to find work that is not precarious so that they can integrate better in society.