LANZAROTE: SOCIAL SERVICES HELPS 1,600 FAMILIES WITH FOOD SHOPPING IN LESS THAN A MONTH

LANZAROTE: SOCIAL SERVICES HELPS 1,600 FAMILIES WITH FOOD SHOPPING IN LESS THAN A MONTH

21/04/2020 10:09
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The 24-hour telephone number for Social Services has received in a 17,800 calls in a month, since it activated the Social Emergency Plan due to COVID-19.

More than 1,600 families residing in the municipality have requested assistance through the social emergency telephone number 828 680 558, which was activated by the City Council following the declaration of the alert, and which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The mayor of Arrecife, Astrid Pérez, and the councillor for Social Services, María Jesús Tovar, launched a response plan to guarantee food for vulnerable families or those without economic income. They implemented a 24-hour hotline on March 23rd to attend to emergency calls in the Social Services department. For this, the services of a call centre were hired, whose emergency assessments are attended by 16 social workers, 11 of them hired during this time to reinforce the Social Services workforce and attend, as soon as possible, to the enormous volume of requests for Aid from residents residing in the capital of Lanzarote, where 48 percent of the population is concentrated.
This Emergency Plan, funded by municipal financial sources, is aimed at families without resources and registered residents in the municipality who do not receive unemployment benefits or are in a vulnerable situation.
Until Monday, April 20th, the telephone service for processing social emergency aid for the purchase of food and hygiene products, has received 17,800 calls in its four weeks of operation, where many of the applicants for social emergency aid, reside in other municipalities of Lanzarote, not just Arrecife. Every day, on average, about 240 visits are made by social workers to assess the resident’s situation, who must be registered in Arrecife to receive these food aid vouchers.
According to the Consistory, about 1,200 codes have been issued for purchases, 276 families have been assigned to Arrecife food banks, and about 130 families have received urgent food aid at home, transferred with Emerlan volunteers.
To apply for these grants, those interested should call the call center number 828 680 558. This phone number is answered by operators, who will process the requests, and then Social Services technicians will resolve their approval and compliance, once the situation has been verified of the petitioners.
The families that are granted these grants will receive a code number on their phones that will allow them to directly withdraw food and hygiene products for the amount of the approved grant. Each family benefitting from these grants can directly withdraw their purchases with the products they want, including those intended for their pets, in the supermarket chain contracted for this emergency. Only the purchase of alcoholic beverages or tobacco is not allowed with these purchase vouchers.
The mayor recalls that the first social measure implemented by the City Council during the state of alarm, was the delivery of basic food to children with ‘quota zero’, that was they were without the service of the school cafeteria. These minors have been receiving daily lunch at their homes since the day after the schools closed. So far, more than 9,000 solidarity menus have been distributed since its launch.

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