More than 32,000 tons of food products have been implemented in the three up-to-date support campaigns provided under the Operational Program for Food and / or Basic Material Assistance from the European Support Fund for the Most Deprived Persons (FPEN), the Agency for Social Services assistance. Each year, the assistance under the “Provision of Individual Food Packages” operation reaches over 500,000 people.
The data were made during a joint working meeting between the Managing Authority of the Program in the face of the Agency for Social Assistance and the partner organization that organizes the distribution of the packages – the Bulgarian Red Cross.
The meeting was held in Plovdiv. It also provided information summarized by the Managing Authority’s experts from the survey of the beneficiaries during the last completed campaign, which started in December 2018 and ended in May 2019. Over 95% of consumers have expressed their overall satisfaction with the support of individual packages of food products provided under the Food Operational Program. Approval of the assortment has accounted for almost 99% of the aided, and the package delivery organization is almost 100% satisfied. The survey is organized by the BRC partner organization within each divestment and the support of the supported persons is traditionally very high.
The aim of the Managing Authority in the form of the Social Assistance Agency is to support the BRC partner organization and to monitor the food distribution process in order to successfully implement and achieve the set indicators that take into account the impact of the program on the persons living in the final poverty in the Republic of Bulgaria. The meeting also presented the degree of achievement of the objectives and discussed the achievements and the difficulties in organizing the implementation of the operation “Provision of individual packages of food products”.
BRC is a long-term partner of the Agency for Social Assistance in providing support in the form of packages of essential food products intended for persons and families living in material deprivation.
At the last release in the period December 2018 – May 2019, the aid of over 7,000 tonnes of food products again reached over half a million Bulgarians living in extreme deprivation. Individuals received individual packages with 16 types of food products of first necessity. According to information from the Bulgarian Red Cross, the packages have reached the needy thanks to 3175 volunteers who have donated more than 106,000 hours of voluntary work.
More than a quarter of those in need (27%) are children under 15, 25% are disabled, 22% are over 65, and so on. According to sex, 55% are women. Counseling vulnerable people for a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle; counseling for managing the family budget; Targeting target groups for social benefits and community-based and resident-type social services; information on services provided by the European Social Fund; other forms of support, assistance, individual or group counseling, implemented in response to established specific needs and problems of the representatives of the target groups, are the accompanying measures provided for the vulnerable persons of the BRC partner organization.
At the meeting was also discussed the possibility of the forthcoming distribution as an accompanying measure for the persons willing to organize and vocational training in the professions “Nursing worker”, “Home Assistant”, “Social Assistant”, as well as to assist in finding a job.
For the next campaign, packets include 17 types of food. It is expected that the phased loading of the products of the Bulgarian Red Cross warehouses will start in July and will start the process of organizing their distribution.
The representatives of the partners of the Bulgarian Red Cross were also aware of the responsibilities of both the Managing Authority and the beneficiaries in terms of preventing irregularities and fraud. It was also emphasized on the national normative base in this direction.
Some difficulties were encountered in the process of implementation of the presentation of individual food packages but the participants agreed that the good communication and partnership between the Managing Authority and the Bulgarian Red Cross improves the level of the organization and is a guarantee for the successful implementation of each campaign for provision of food products.