The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, remarked on Saturday that the Government will accelerate the distribution of food baskets to vulnerable families who are in quarantine because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
“This is a task that requires commitment, coordination, logistics and above all a great deal of effort and commitment. So this great army of invisible hands is working hard to complete this task,” the President said. He was speaking after initiating food deliveries for the day, accompanied by First Lady Cecilia Morel, the Governor of the Metropolitan Region, Felipe Guevara, and Ministers.
The program involves distributing 2.5 million baskets containing food and hygiene products across Chile to provide direct help for families. It got underway on May 22 in the Metropolitan Region.
The First Lady, Cecilia Morel, said, "these baskets are not only food for Chileans who are going through very difficult times. They are much more than that. These baskets are hope and solidarity, which today will enable thousands of Chileans to feed their families and their children. I hope that this help and collaboration will bring us even closer together as a country. The whole of Chile demands an act of love, cooperation and unity that is bigger than our differences. This act must take place today; tomorrow will be too late. Chile can't wait.”
The “Alimentos para Chile” (Food for Chile) program is gradually delivering 1.5 million baskets to residents in the Metropolitan Region, reaching 70% of the most vulnerable and middle class households who are in quarantine in the region. A further million baskets will be distributed outside the Metropolitan Region.
By Friday, May 29, 122,000 baskets had been distributed in the Metropolitan Region across 34 municipalities.
The President said, "we are going to speed up the pace of distribution." He explained that the production, logistics and distribution system has been organized so as to increase daily deliveries to 60,000 baskets in the Metropolitan Region this week, rising to 80,000 baskets later on.
In areas outside of Santiago, 35,450 food boxes have been distributed, bringing to 157,450 the national total of boxes delivered.
This enormous logistical task is involving the direct collaboration and participation of the mayor in each municipality to ensure that the deliveries are made in the most effective manner possible.
"Chile has always been and must continue to be one big family, and no family abandons any of its children,” the President said.
The boxes contain protein and carbohydrates, with a guaranteed standard of nutritionally equivalent products. The baskets contain non-perishable food products such as rice, legumes, mashed potatoes, oil, tuna, flour, pasta, as well as hygiene products such as soap and detergent.
The baskets are delivered directly to people’s homes without them needing to go out, in order to safeguard the population as much as possible. This basket is designed to complement the food and care requirements of a family of 4 people for 15 days. Individual products may vary, but they will always be equivalent.
This campaign forms part of the Social Protection Network launched by President Piñera's government to support Chilean families, especially the most vulnerable and middle class families. More than 10 million people are receiving some form of assistance from the network implemented to address the social crisis arising from the coronavirus pandemic.