Last year´s campaign results

In a tear- jerking and desperate presentation in Almoradí this week, the Cruz Roja announced that they had run out of money to help them deliver food to the needy, as the demand for assistance has exhausted their funds.

The President of the local cruz roja group, José Naranjo, revealed that they have been serving more than 200 families, twice per week, but this has left them with no more resources to continue.

Naranjo said with regret that for the first time this year, "we had to tell people who have come looking for help that there is no food”. In addition to the Cruz Roja, the Cáritas charity are also serving around 200 families and the Department of Social Welfare has asked if they can assist in providing assistance, whilst hopefully avoiding a duplication of claims.

In our provincial capital of Alicante, the cruz roja had 542 registered families under their care during 2012, and with that figure, the association estimated a rise to 650 for 2013. However, in the first six months of the year, they had already surpassed that figure, with 708 families registered as regularly needing handouts.

In preparation for the recognition of the annual International Day for the Eradication of Poverty which was on Thursday this week, Cáritas had already revealed some 3 million people in spain are living below the poverty line, with around 300 euro per month for their entire family. But that figure didn´t include the hidden story of those who are earning nothing, living off the streets and with little hope of recovery. The only official data available regarding homelessness in this area is from the Valencian Institute of Statistics, which reveals that there are likely to be around 3,000 homeless people in the region, but even that figure cannot be 100% guaranteed due to the very nature of their status, and it was a 2008 estimate, so likely to be well below the current reality.

Nationally, there are an estimated 23,000 homeless people in Spain, over half as a direct result of losing their jobs, according to a 2012 survey by the National Statistics Institute, who also report a growing proportion of women having to live on the streets, with a 19% increase since 2005, and the elderly, a figure which has doubled in the last 7 years.

With all of these harrowing figures in mind, The Leader and Exite Radio has decided to bring forward our annual collection of food for the needy, and we have decided to launch this year´s campaign immediately.

As in previous years, we are now asking for your help. After every campaign so far we have been overwhelmed by your generosity, so we hope that you will once again join us in trying to help those in need.

From now on, our offices in Los Dolces will be a central collection point for food, with other drop off points added in the coming weeks, and we are looking for dry food, tins, cans, packets, cartons, in fact anything that has a long use-by date, all of which will go directly to those in need.

Again, as in previous years, we are also asking for help for the extended family too, with dog and cat food welcome, so as those families with pets are also able to keep their trusty friends with them through the crisis.

We will be collecting the items from now through to Christmas and will then distribute the food to local charities along the Orihuela Costa, Torrevieja and the immediately surrounding areas, so you are sure that every item you donate will go directly to help somebody in need.

A cliché it may be, this kind of campaign really is summed up by three simple words, because no matter how much or how little you can give, and we all know there are many people struggling through the hardships of life, in this case, it really is true to say that “Every little helps”.

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