Distribution of food to those in need

With the systemic effects of the pandemic on society, the most disadvantaged are even more vulnerable. To make matters worse, the number of people in need is expected to increase.

1. Identified problem The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is felt throughout the world, not excluding the most disadvantaged. Charities that normally aim to help the most vulnerable, experience operational difficulties that compromise the delivery of food to people in fragile situations. These difficulties are due to:

  • The usual food suppliers (large supermarket chains that allow charities to have access to non-marketable food, but in perfect consumption conditions, have their own distribution networks obstructed or do not allow access to reduce the risk of contagion;

  • Companies that usually carry out food collection campaigns with their employees, stopped the campaigns for having employees working from home, making collection impossible.

To make this situation worse, there is an increasing number of people occupying the streets. According to data collected from Cáritas Diocesana of Porto, Portugal, the Solidarity Door Project, which was created in 2009 and which supported an average of 150 people a day, has now reached 400 meals a day in a space of 4 weeks.

2. Implemented solution Our solution was to create logistically simplified solutions that ensured that the food distribution worked during the pandemic. In order to be able to distribute food in a sustainable way, we believe it is necessary that the food flow, namely demand <> distribution <> supply, is done without much logistics to ensure continuity in this uncertain period. Our idea was to create mini food chains spread regionally in the country where demand, distribution and supply are made by proximity to each other.

For this, we looked for entities that act at a national level and that could ensure the mini food chains:

Demand (we pin located charities througout the Lisbon region to provide visibility of where the need of food existed);

Distribution (since only