Local December 18, 2022 | 8:19 am

Banco de Alimentos breaks record in kilos rescued and distributed

The Food Bank of the Dominican Republic (BARD) reached a record figure of one million kilograms of products rescued and donated, with a growth of more than 800% compared to 2018.

The executive director of BARD, Julina Staffeld, said that with the amount achieved this 2022 they exceed 6 million food rations for the benefit of vulnerable sectors of the country.

She urged other companies to donate food to avoid product losses, especially in supermarkets, grocery stores, and distributors.

“We are the referent donor, the largest, with the widest reach, in the reception and reliable management of brands and corporate social responsibility,” she said.

In 2018, BARD rescued 118,000 kilos in a year, achieved in a month.

“The growth we have had by more than 800 percent has been with the same organizational structure. We have done more with the same resources we have,” said Staffeld.

These efforts have a monthly impact on more than 20,000 people and 200 organizations for children, the elderly, and recovering addicts, among others.

Through the ReAgro program, 50% of the food they distribute comprises agricultural products due to their nutritional component. In this way, they ensure that those favored by BARD have access to increasingly balanced and nutritious diets.

Víctor Manuel Polanco, president of one of the beneficiary organizations, which works in rehabilitating addicts in the capital, said that they receive enough food twice a month to serve the entity’s enrollment. Among the products they receive are rice, oil, groceries, vegetables, yogurt, and juices.

“In a satisfactory way, I say it. It has been very helpful for us, for our institution, which is non-profit and does not receive other aid,” he said, after indicating that with this contribution in food, this institution can sustain itself.

The BARD team works enthusiastically and in a very organized way to contribute to mitigating hunger in the Dominican Republic. In addition, people who have benefited from the food are working as volunteers in logistical support at the collection center.

The organization is also available to receive donations of equipment or materials such as crates, boxes, computer equipment, furniture, trucks, and refrigeration equipment. In 2021, BARD won the George Arzeno Brugal Grand Prize for Social Innovation, and the Social Assistance category of the Brugal Believes in its People Awards.

Contributions from Fundación Mapfre
Among this year’s novelties was a strategic alliance with the Mapfre Foundation, which sponsored the benefit of 6,000 families from 50 communities in three-quarters of 2,000. They brought necessities such as rice, beans, oils, and canned goods.

With the support of this organization, said Staffeld, they increased the quantity and quality of the food, providing financial resources for the house-to-house transportation of the beneficiaries, especially in places of extreme poverty in the south and east.

The food is delivered to institutions duly registered and verified after receiving it from supermarkets, markets, distributors, manufacturers, exporters, and farmers.

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