SPECSAVERS Ópticas stores across the Costa Blanca have teamed up to collect food donations for vulnerable people in the region.

The teams are collecting items throughout December to be donated to the Alicante Food Bank (Fundación Banco de Alimentos de Alicante) and are encouraging their local communities to give generously and ensure no one in the Alicante province goes hungry.

Lisa James, a store director at Specsavers Ópticas Guardamar, explains: ‘It’s that time of year where sadly some families will miss out on the festive cheer for various different reasons, but this year in particular the pandemic has had a devastating effect.

That’s why the work of our local food banks and charities is such an important lifeline for so many people in our community and we’re delighted to support this incredibly worthy cause. Please come in and bring healthy, non-perishable food with a long shelf life and give families something to look forward to this Christmas and beyond.’

According to FESBAL (Spanish Federation of Food Banks), demand has increased by more than 40% since the state of alarm was announced and they are currently helping 1.8m people to feed themselves and their families.[1] Unfortunately, they do not expect this situation to improve in the short or medium term, so are relying on support from businesses and individuals to meet the demand.

In September a FEBA (European Food Bank Federation) survey revealed that over 85% of food banks in Europe continue to experience growing demand. This is a result of the increase in the total number of people in need, especially of food, due to social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic[2].

Specsavers Ópticas is collecting food donations in its Javea, Calpe, Benidorm, Torrevieja, Guardamar and La Zenia stores. The food bank desperately needs donations of the following items to respond to demand – full fat milk, rice, sugar, oil, drinking chocolate and canned fish such as tuna.

You can drop those items off at any Specsavers Ópticas store on the Costa Blanca during opening hours until 5 January.

Visit www.specsavers.es to find your nearest store and contact details. Find out more about the Alicante Food Bank on their website www.bancodealimentosalicante.org

[1] https://www.fesbal.org.es/post/presentaci%C3%B3n-de-la-gran-recogida-virtual-de-alimentos-2020

[2] European Food Banks today: 3rd report on the impact of COVID-19 https://www.eurofoodbank.org/en/what-s-new/2020-10-22-european-food-banks-today:-3rd-report-on-the-impact-of-covid-19