Belgium – A competition by the Carrefour Foundation rewards many St Vincent de Paul Conferences
The SSVP in Belgium can celebrate as the efforts of its members are rewarded! During December, the Carrefour Foundation and the company’s superstores organised a competition across the whole country, to encourage and support local organisations providing food aid: collection of unsold goods, managing, storing and distributing food parcels to people in need. The idea was for each supermarket to support a local not-for profit social support organisation which had to collect as many clicks as possible through an on-line voting system.
In total, 279,000€ was distributed to 79 organisations in the form of financial contributions of 1000€ to 10,000€. The silver medal was awarded to a Saint Vincent de Paul Conference (Sainte Gertrude Conference at Kuringen) which collected almost 15,500 votes, so receiving a donation of 10,000€. The group helps deprived people in the town of Kuringen, distributing clothing and food parcels as well as providing a listening ear and friendly support with regular home visits. The money will be used to purchase equipment to improve the handling and storage of the food supplies awaiting distribution.
Other Saint Vincent de Paul Conferences were also prize-winners, each receiving the sum of 1000€.
For a number of years, Belgium has invested in the fight against food waste: thus in Wallonia (the southern part of Belgium), a law now obliges large stores to give their unsold goods to local organisations which collect and distribute food to people in need. Every year, more than 200,000 people need support with provisions of food, and they come to organisations such as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul for help.