Record municipal budget for food programmes

Around fifteen million euros will be set aside in this year’s municipal budget for the various food programmes in the city, representing a 50% increase compared to the same allocation before the Covid-19 pandemic (ten million euros a year). Les Corts, Gràcia and Nou Barrs are the three districts where subsidies have increased the most since 2019.

10/11/2022 15:40 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The programmes which have received the biggest boost in the last two years include subsidies awarded by social services centres to cover food costs. In 2019, the number of subsidies awarded came to 8,309, worth an overall value of 1.29 euros. The same figures for 2022 are expected to rise to 20,280 subsidies and 4.28 million euros.

Municipal food programmes go further than financial help through the Barcelona Solidària bank card and seek to promote a model based on a healthy diet with locally sourced food.

The Alimenta project was launched in 2020 to guarantee access to a decent, sustainable and healthy diet for people in vulnerable situations. Users take part in different cookery workshops and receive food packages and social support for labour and community inclusion. The project has a budget of 320,000 euros in 2022 and has already helped 146 people take part in 22 communal cookery workshops. Besides the workshops, the project has awarded 1,264 food packages and offered nearly 10,000 meals.

The other municipal programme which has grown the most in recent years is the “Meals in company” service, which seeks to provide a suitable diet for fragile elderly people and offer them a space for friendship and connection with the community. The programme has grown from 1.6 million euros and nearly 238,500 meals served to 1,300 people in 2019, to an anticipated 2.39 million euros and 310,000 meals served in 2022.

Besides these programmes, the city has others which have also seen an increase in municipal contributions in recent years, such as the following:

  • Social food halls, which in 2019 served 480,000 meals thanks to a budget of 3.17 million euros, while this year the prevision is they will serve 522,000 meals through an investment of 3.38 million euros.
  • Food distributions centres. These hand out food through the Food Bank and other organisations. Estimates put the number of distribution points in Barcelona at over a hundred, of which more than 70% receive municipal funding, either directly or through umbrella organisations.
  • “Meals at home” is a service which delivers cooked meals to the homes of people who cannot prepare them, order them or purchase them on their own. This service has grown from 587,000 meals delivered, for the overall value of 3.12 million euros, to a prevision of over 752,000 meals for the overall value of 3.86 million euros.
  • Subsidies awarded. In this year’s subsidy call, 41 subsidies with a value of one million euros were awarded to different social organisations in the city with projects relating to food. In 2019, the number of subsidised projects was around twenty, with the overall investment at 675,000 euros.

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