Costa Rica will have four Food Banks by 2016, according to the the private organization that runs them. Food Banks take donations from several companies and distribute them to people living in extreme poverty.
On Thursday, which was World Food Day, Food Bank director Napoleón Burgos reported that in the first quarter of 2015 the organization will open another operation in the Caribbean province of Limón, and in 2016 organizers hope to add another in Puntarenas.
Costa Rica’s first Food Bank was opened in San José in March 2012, and the second opened last week in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. The project was started by 10 private companies that began collecting food to donate to poor families.
According to the State of the Nation program, some 350,000 people (85,557 households) in Costa Rica do not earn enough to purchase the basic food basket. Studies by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization show that developing countries like Costa Rica discard nearly 30 percent of the food they produce.
During last year’s World Food Day, FAO reported that 8.2 percent of Costa Ricans had been “chronically malnourished” during a period from 2011 to 2013, a 5 percent increase from 2010.
Food Bank sponsors collect an average of 200,000 kilograms of food per week, which provides meals for up to 22,0000 people a day. Food is distributed through community organizations, and on average, each person receives two daily meals, the organization reported.
Fourteen other companies recently joined the project as partners and honorary members. Among the donations the bank received this week are 1,400 kg of beans from Grupo Mutual and 10,000 breakfasts from cereal company Kellogg’s.
Burgos said he expects more companies to join the project.
To contact the Food Bank (Banco de Alimentos), visit their website at: www.bancodealimentos.cr.