“Think that there are people who haven't worked for a month and don't even have enough to eat! In what conditions were they living before so that when they don't work for a month, they don't even have enough savings to eat? Are we living so much up to our necks? In this land of freedom? It makes you think…. And we don’t speak about few people only…."
Mikel, volunteer of the solidarity pantry La Horizontal, Vallecas (Madrid)
In a society that functions in a balanced way and that protects all components of its population in the same way, the pandemic should not cause the hunger queues like the ones we are seeing in Spain. If they appeared and continue to increase, it is because there are deeper problems that condemn certain segments of the population to a more acute vulnerability in situations like the one we are experiencing. At the social level, what the pandemic seems to demonstrate most strongly is that a significant percentage of the population lives in a situation that does not guarantee them resources even for a month of confinement. During the first wave, a confinement carried out in conditions that allow maintaining a decent standard of living was unattainable or almost a luxury for many.
In Spain the submerged economy flourishes and is one of the most developed among European countries. Many people live on the margins of society depending on precarious jobs, not recognized socially and / or legally or in an administrative situation that conditions the development of their life projects, preventing them from accessing safe jobs in decent conditions.
During the pandemic, many of these people are excluded from any institutional help or support, unable to even submit a subsidy application. Many of them were forced to go to the solidarity food pantries, set up by neighborhood networks that have so far saved a multitude of families from the risk of hunger and acute social exclusion.
The project collects testimonies from these people, making visible above all the pre-existing causes of the difficult situation in which they now find themselves. The pandemic only increased the risk of poverty and exclusion, also jeopardizing the health security of many of them. In this work, and through direct testimonies, I want to invite reflection on the importance of these people in our daily lives and on the changes that it would be necessary to undertake in the future so that they can live with dignity like any other member of our society.
The contents (texts, photos, podcasts) will be published throughout the development of the project.
Project realized with a support of a grant from the European Journalism COVID-19 Support Fund