The number of people who have lost their jobs in the last few months due to the pandemic and the drop in economic activity is measured in the thousands. This issue has brought with it a large number of those who, due to the impossibility of earning money, have no money to feed themselves or their families. This is shown by daily appeals from public kitchens, where more and more people come to ask for help. However, the food warehouses in these humanitarian organizations have been almost empty during recent days.
These images of the recent distribution of surplus potato vegetables in Banja Luka show quite precisely how much food the poorest citizens need. In public kitchens, it is the same situation every day, hundreds of people are waiting for probably the only meal they will have during that day. And these people are mostly those with minimal pensions or with no income.
Each day, the public kitchen “Mosaic of Friendship” helps new users who come to look for food every day, with the regular 600 meals. Unfortunately, their number is increased. That is why the food supplies they have are spent very quickly.
“There is a problem of how to respond to the food needs of people who do not want to stand in the line, people who are ashamed, who gave their reputation and health to build this country, and today they are fighting to survive. That is why we have spent everything we had, we used all our groceries to make packages and thus to help those people, ” said Miroslav Subasic, president of the Humanitarian Organization “Mosaic of Friendship” Banja Luka.
Due to the pandemic and the loss of jobs, the Red Cross of Banja Luka also receives about 30 calls per day with a request for help in obtaining packages of basic foodstuffs. They say their warehouses have also been almost empty in the last few days.
“Because of the pandemic and the loss of jobs, such people from the city and suburbs call us, asking for packages so they could somehow overcome this period and feed their families. We have over 30 such calls and that number is increasing. We intervene as much as we can and where it is the most difficult situation, ” told Zeljkica Ilic, secretary of the Red Cross Banja Luka.
According to the data of the United Nations (UN), every sixth household in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is poor, 15 percent of citizens are in absolute poverty, while half of the population is on the brink of poverty. There are no official or precise statistics about the hungry people, but daily appeals from public kitchens about the increased number of users show that the number of the hungry is higher than expected, BHRT writes.