Diócese of Granada –
Granada Foodbank and Housing Support through COVID-19 Crisis

The Servicio Pastoral Social de Granada of the Diocese of Granada in Colombia has been helping the local people in Meta, Granada since 1995 by providing spiritual support as well as education and nutritional support for the local people of Granada. In 2020, as many people had lost their jobs and subsequently their income and access to food due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diocese of Granada started a Foodbank and housing support program.

Poverty has been a long-term problem in Colombia where 27% of the population is living in poverty with 7% living in extreme poverty, lacking the most basic supplies for survival such as housing, water and food. In rural areas this number of people living in extreme poverty rises to 15%. The Diocese of Granada serves these people that find themselves without work and are therefore unable to acquire enough food for their families or covering housing costs. The foodbank and housing support program of the Diocese of Granada serves 348 local people with food and basic hygiene supplies as well as covering housing costs to ensure that all the members of the family are fed and cared for.

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  • A family visiting the Granada Foodbank for nutritional support
  • A family receiving their care package at home
  • A family celebrating that they received support to cover the cost of housing as well as additional nutritional support
  • One of the local families receiving their care package
  • Another local family receiving nutritional support
  • The team of the Diocese of the Granada Foodbank and Housing Support Project

History

Colombia is the second largest country in South America with a population of 47.7 million people. Surveys have shown that at least 41% of Colombian households live in conditions of food insecurity in urban areas, while in rural areas this percentage goes up to 58.8%, and between 15’000 to 40’000 people die yearly from the consequences of hunger. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the lockdowns that were enforced to stop the spread of this disease, many people in Colombia lost their livelihoods and therefore found themselves in a situation of food insecurity and housing difficulties. The Diocese of Granada decided to step in and try to mitigate these problems in their community by starting this foodbank and housing support project.

The Diocese of Granada was founded in 1995 with the main focus on ensuring basic human rights such as shelter, food, water and education for the people from Granada. The area that the Diocese of Granada serves is 35’000 square kilometres with an approximate population of 267’000 persons living in Granada spread out into 13 municipalities.

Mission

The mission of the Diocese of Granada is to provide access to all basic human rights to the people of Granada which includes access to food, water, shelter and education. Aside from this they have also offered support for victims of gang violence as well as victims of drug abuse through their social assistance programs.

The Project supported by the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust

Thanks to our continued support to the Diocese of Granada, they have been able to help an additional 100 families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Of these 100 families, 49 families required support to buy food to feed their families, 43 families required assistance to cover their housing costs and 8 families required both nutritional and housing support. In total they have been able to support 348 people for a period of 6 months.