British foodbank dragged into local politics

Opposition party suggests dropping official foodbank and using British Church instead

The ruling council of Turre is “baffled” to have received a number of requests by the opposition PP party to start supporting the local British food bank charity instead of setting up an official banco de alimentos in town – especially since the PP had refused to help the Church when they were last in power!

In the last plenary meeting, PP leader and ex-mayor Arturo Grima tabled several independent motions, including one asking what measures the town council is taking to support local voluntary work “such as that carried out by the food bank of the Evangelical Church”, but Snr Grima stormed out of the meeting after being cut off in mid sentence during his first question after Mayor Morales interrupted him saying that “you’ve been talking for 13 minutes, get to the point”. Snr Grima later accused Mayor Morales of “demagogy”.

And in a recent extraordinary meeting called by Snr Grima he again made written allusion to the “trouble some local families have obtaining food” whilst asking if the council would “support the Evangelical Church by measures including material transport”. However, the tabled question was not delved into by Snr Grima who passed over it in favour of other questions.

Alan Bishop from the Evangelical Church told Costa Almeria News that his Church had approached Snr Grima when he was Mayor to suggest some sort of official collaboration but had been thoroughly rebuffed. “We did not ask for money, but instead to work with the council to help needy families. We were shown the door” said Mr Bishop.

Mayor Morales also said he was “baffled” by the questions. “I do not think I have ever interacted officially with the Evangelical Church, although I am aware of and approve of their many good works in my town” he told Costa Almeria News. “I have no idea what Snr Grima is getting at. I am setting up an official branch of the regional food bank here and I know he is against this idea”.

The council is expecting the first delivery of 3,600 kilos of non perishable foodstuff to arrive this October 15 and will liaise with the social services in the town to distribute the food to the most needy families over the winter.

The Turre branch of the PP were unavailable for comment.

Mr Bishop said that his Church’s food bank was setup in November 2012 “so that we as Christians could give something back to the local community that has accepted us”. Up to 70 local and mainly Spanish families are helped on average every week by the donations bought in by church members, most of them British, as well as help from the Lions Club in Vera, who collect unsold produce from farmers in Palomares for Turre. Mr Bishop explained that “we don’t aim to replace the official foodbanks but instead work with the Vera one to help tide families over between donations”.

The Church is located at the top of Turre high street and always welcomes volunteers and new members.

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