Banco de Alimentos
Supervisão Geral de Abastecimento

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
The waste of food is among the biggest problems in the great cities. The creation of a Food Bank is intended to fight against food waste, through the collection of types of food that are wasted during the production chain, beyond supporting local food supply through an integration with other initiatives, such as the Nutrition and Food Security Program (SAN), the Food Acquisition Program (PAA) through the modalities of Municipal PAAs and simultaneous donations from the National Supply Company (CONAB). And that comes through the program to contribute to certain social groups in the eradication of extreme poverty, in the case of our institution SEFRAS (Franciscan Solidarity Service). With the creation of a Food Bank, we were able to establish a close and valuable partnership with the strengthening of our projects directed to homeless people and collectors, with “Casa de Clara”, an organization that welcomes elderly people, with our project for people living with HIV/AIDS, with imprisoned women and with teenagers with problems with the law. Through the execution of these projects, we realized the need for more discussions about familiar coexistence, breaking of emotional bonds, unemployment, sexuality, political views, the importance of promoting self-esteem, among others.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The work of the Food Bank, raising food donations and promoting its distribution through our social non-profit organizations, has contributed much to our institution projects (the Franciscan Service) on reducing hunger and malnutrition affecting some groups finding themselves in a context of food and nutritional insecurity. The direction and use of exceeding good quality food are forwarded to non-profit social organizations, so they can distribute it to low income families, people with disabilities, homeless people, elderly people, children and teenagers, inmigrants, imprisoned women and people living with HIV/AIDS and other diseases. The Food Bank was created by the Government of the City of São Paulo in 2002. The Bill 406/00, approved by the Municipal Chamber, instituted the Municipal Food Bank, through the Law nº 13.227, with the aim of raising food donations and promoting its distribution through non-profit social organizations previously registered in the Food Bank.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The initiative contributed to the searching of joint solutions from the government and civil society to what concerns facing food vulnerability. When we started the projects with the Franciscan Service (SEFRAS) we only used to receive people, then we realized that the several groups of people attended by us, such as the people living with HIV/AIDS, the elderly, the parents with children in situations of vulnerability had different needs and difficulties that needed to be treated separately, but, also, that there was a first need common to all of them: the lack of good quality food. This first need, we would not be able to provide if it was not for the work of the Food Bank. For many times, people do not imagine that in city such as São Paulo, a metropolis, there are people starving. Even in a place full of great opportunities, problems related to food vulnerability are very much close to all o fus and need to be approached. One of the possible solutions was the work of the Food Bank. At the same time it fights agains waste, it also faces the issue of starvation and lack of food.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
To what concerns the Food Bank, the action plan included: 1. Structuring and implementation of the program; 2. Space qualification, assembling and installation of the Food Bank; 3. Acquisition of equipments and permanente materials; 4. Training of the operational team; 5. Selection and registration of institutions; 6. Follow-up, evaluation and systematization of the program. To what concerns SEFRAS, our action plan included a diagnosis of each of our projects by our team; and, through the initiative and an articulation the Food Bank, the strengthening of these projects. That way, we got to implement a good quality work.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The implemantation of the Food Bank was an initiative of the government of the city of São Paulo, in 2002. During her mandate, the Mayor Marta Suplicy implemented the Municipal Program that promoted and incentivated jointly with non-profit social organizations the reduction of food waste. The partnership with SEFRAS initiated during the promotion of the work of the Food Bank. The municipal government promoted it through the distribution of brochures. All this happened ten years ago. We already had our organization that received people in vulnerability in São Paulo, and, then, the Friars Reinaldo Ameixeira and André Gurzynski, had the opportunity to know more about the initiave of the Food Bank, and soon after, they registrated our organization.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The provision of services from the Food Bank is a public program. The facilities of the Bank are situated in a public espace that were deactivated after a municipal market closed its doors. That espace is a wide area that has been well used for the works of the Bank. The government of the city of São Paulo is responsible for covering all the costs of maintaining the espace, such as surveillence services, water, electricity, telephones, transportation, among others; hiring of human resources, such as nutritionists, social workers, administrative and operational staff; acquisition of technical equipments and permanent materials; training of the operational staff and for those responsible for the registrations of the social organizations.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
“When we had to look for other segments of society to keep the cost of food in the projects we could not find any”. Every time the institution (Franciscan Solidarity Service) presented its projects searching for new partners who could invest on them, we witnessed some speeches full of prejudice against the people we were welcoming, people living with HIV/AIDS. At that time, almost fifteen years ago, we could not approach this kind of matter. People were afraid of catching a deasease, so there was a lot of difficulties on getting any kind of help. But we needed a solution. We realized that, due to a strong medication when treating HIV/AIDS, people had to eat properly. That was when we knew about the Food Bank. Through this succesful partnership we got to subsidize all the food for our projects, including the project focused on the homeless people. Some organizations do not establhis a partnership, because they believe that theses people find themselves in theses situations because they want to. This is why we realized how important is the work of the Food Bank. Through it, we have received several donations of food and other products from hipermarkets and expensive labels, fruits and vegetables, all coming from public institutions. This was the solution we found to keep our projects existing.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
When we verified the meaning of food, we realized the importance of meeting with this first human necessity. We realized the greatness of what we could do to those homeless people. Our program for them, called “O Chá do Padre”, gathers more than 200 people at public espaces and carries out daily activities based on several matters related to the people living on the streets. We got to create a range of activities due to this program, such as film sessions, community radio, rounds of conversations to talk about the questions that lead to chemical dependency, alcoholism, human traffic and violence. While monitoring and evaluating the program, we got to expand these actions. Currently, we are able to bring health service to people living on the streets, such as medical consultations and laboratory examinations. What had started as a simple donation of food and, then, developed to offering food education and professional assistance, now offers healthe services. We got to the conclusion that food is the entrance for all other forms of action.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Our franciscan institution does not have any partnership or linkage to any major label or company. In this case, the obstacles for funding are huge. But, through the partnership with the Food Bank, we got to overcome one of them: to offer our beneficiaries a balanced nourishment, and we could only enrich our work. When we still did not have the partnership with the Bank, we had a certain preoccupation with the budget for feeding. That was when we understood we had an urgency for searching for new partners to keep our projects for the homeless people, people living with HIV/AIDS, the elderly, imprisoned women and teenagers in problems with the law, to concerns feeding. We would not have had how to strengthen theses programs without the support and structure the Food Bank offers us. The appreciation of the food is a characteristic of the franciscan work, that is whay we recognize the Bank’s valuable contribution.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The partnership with the Food Bank and our institution has 15 years. In the case of our project with the homeless people, we attend more than 200 people and we got, as our main output, their social reintegration and, in some cases, a professional replacement. In the case of our projects with the elderly, the outcomes are related to how they come to our organization vulnerable and, then, with our work, we can notice how their quality of life increases, how they are happier, more spontaneous, making new friends and are being welcomed in the house by the others, we realize how important it is to keep doing our work, once they are getting even older and have eache time new needs. Nowadays, we house sixty elderly. The project for people living with HIV/AIDS had, as outcome, progress in the medical treatment. With that, they become more sociable and independent, start looking for jobs and get to live their lives with more tranquility.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The sustainability of the program is done through the partnerships developed. In the case of the Food Bank, the major networks of hypermarkets are the partners to obtain food. We have managed to sensitize the big brands when we presented the projects of the institutions we support. The non-disposal of foods which are inappropriate for sale but are appropriate for consumption is an initiative that has been replicated in large companies and supermarket chains. Currently our partners manage to donate annually about 700 tons of food to the Food Bank. Regarding the funding of this program, the Sao Paulo City Hall subsidizes the services that are required to operate it. Concerning the social aspect, the work undertaken together by both government and organizations from civil society serves annually more than 45,000 families who are enrolled in partners social organizations throughout the city. São Paulo City Hall aims to expand until 2016 the coverage of the program in the city. The project aims to create points with stations in some districts to improve the logistics and the food donation by reducing the storage time. The goal is to make the food arrives quicker in the houses of families which are in a situation of social vulnerability.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
It is important to highlight that all service related to food should not be considered as a policy with assistance aims. Whoever has this opinion is causing a disservice to the society. The biggest lesson we have learned and that we should socialize is that food is a human need and a right to citizens. Such issues should be a concern of everyone in the presence of such violation. Whenever we cannot feed properly we are not able to reason, even to get a pen. Therefore, eating is inherent to our life, and that is why we believe that food can be the gateway to offer new opportunities and prospects for other people's lives. We believe that our institution SEFRAS (Franciscan Solidarity Service) through the partnership with the Food Bank program has contributed to the eradication of extreme poverty, aiming at a collaboratively work and reaching the most vulnerable population as proposed by the MDS (Ministry of Social Development) through development activities and income generation.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Supervisão Geral de Abastecimento
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Pablo Ferreira
Title:   Diretor  
Telephone/ Fax:   +55 11 2967 5039
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Rua Sobral Junior, 264
Postal Code:   02130020
City:   São Paulo
State/Province:   São Paulo

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