Let’s avoid the waste of shelter and food with a solidarity network

According to Red Solidaria in Neuquén, this year, unlike others, they registered children and women living on the street. Photo: Cecilia Maletti

Particularly in the face of this cold wave or polar cold, how not to think about fraternal coat closets and food banks from those public, private or mixed entities that (which Cáritas!) responsibly receive, collect, store and distribute surplus coats and food: spinning mills, textiles, stores, boutiques, wardrobes, closets, etc.; farms, bakeries, meatpackers, markets, greengrocers, flour mills, shops, dairy companies and food industries; hotels, cafeterias, restaurants, etc., to distribute or redistribute them among people who are cold and hungry today, dissatisfied with the inclement weather and the unprecedented and acute food crisis.

In the face of a lazy waste of coats or food, we must raise our voices and make our solidarity humanitarian protest felt, when the Argentine situation of hunger, cold, poverty, destitution and helplessness exposes and abandons too many Argentines with the basic lack of shelter, clothing and minimally appropriate food, precisely due to the lack of infrastructure, clothing, blankets and daily personal meals); all of which increasingly affects a good part of a population, which must be content, for example, with eating – without nutritional guarantee – some of the biologically necessary daily meals and eventual “alms” and discarding of clothing or footwear.

All measurements confirm the fact that millions of people are in a condition of food vulnerability in our country. Food waste is at record levels: 1.3 billion pieces of food are lost or wasted globally each year, This is equivalent to about a third of the food produced for human consumption.

Only in our country, one of the world’s largest food exporters, Almost 30 million tons of food are thrown into the trash every year according to data from the FAO and the Agroindustry Secretariat. This is equivalent to more than a kilo per day and for each inhabitant, something terrifying when more than 45% of its population is below the poverty line, with painful and inhuman difficulties to feed, shelter and protect themselves. By the way, Pope Francis has just denounced and condemned precisely the global waste of shelter, food, and drinking water.

In the face of the economic crisis and the silence regarding the lack of shelter and hunger that too many Argentines suffer and distress, Without delay, civil solidarity initiatives of all kinds and magnitude should be promoted, sufficient and satisfactory to help the communities of street dwellers who require and deserve it. They should be implemented sustainably and resiliently, in a manner similar to that of non-profit organizations such as the World Network of Food Banks or The Global Food Banking Network, which – in addition – receive donations from public and private companies, and thus come working on the tasks of recovery and equitable use of clothing, footwear and food, raw materials and inputs currently wasted.

With these actions we will not only be able to reduce losses and waste, but we can also help more people in vulnerable conditions, so that they have sufficient shelter and basic food in a dignified and timely manner; people who in our country exceed by millions the number of fellow citizens affected by this true calamity in the country of bread, fertile and valuable Argentine land, which paradoxically – without hesitation – produces food to satisfy hunger in ten or more times more than the number of its current inhabitants.

In fact, according to successive lapidary reports from the UCA Childhood Social Debt Barometer, poverty reaches extravagant figures, fundamentally affecting the shelter, footwear and nutrition of Argentine children and homeless people, a cruel and vile food deficit. responsible for every bad weather of our fellow citizens. These numbers are the worst in the last decade, something that is not surprising, given the terrible governments, the embarrassing inflation, the paralysis of economic growth, the loss of purchasing power of salaries or the voracious and unfounded increase in prices and rates, the closure of SMEs, too much idle installed industrial capacity, as well as an increase in formal and informal unemployment, among the most relevant social adversities.

It is therefore urgent to organize ourselves in solidarity and together to take advantage of every last coat and gram of food currently wasted available. Regarding cold and human hunger, its political, racial, religious, geographical, gender and nationality neutrality are definitive and non-negotiable. Given such a state of affairs – without prejudice to Law 25,989 (special regime for the donation of food) -, it occurred to us and we urgently propose it, vg. that like a Human Protection NETWORK, from the Liaison Table, from the Rural Society, the dairy companies, Coninagro, the UIA, the FAA, the CAME, the universities (faculties of agronomy), the churches, the NGOs and all other agricultural, livestock, textile, industrial and commercial entities; contribute substantially and sensitively to the sustainable implementation of macro-influx multipurpose food systems and wardrobes placed in said network, all from a circular, collaborative, relationally cooperative economy approach, capable of taking advantage of primary products, inputs, discards and waste generated by all activities. human or legal productive, commercial, mechanical, technological and even artificial intelligence, related to shelters and food suitable for dignified well-being and safe human nutrition, typical of a fraternal culture of satisfaction for a good life without respect of persons.

Finally, We warn that proposing a network of this scope and nature must be something temporary, only to temper or temporarily satisfy the cold and human hunger wherever it is suffered.. Reversing and resolving it, structurally and lastingly, requires cooperative, creative, effective and urgent public policies, in accordance with constitutional provisions and unavoidable sufficient budget allocations.

* Expert in cooperatives.

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