By Michelle Norman
Each Tuesday, we gather our special authorization forms that enable us to travel the 10 minutes to the neighboring town to work at the food bank of the local Baptist Church. Without the authorization forms, we would not be permitted to leave our town due to the tight COVID restrictions currently in effect.
Work at the food bank was one of the first ministries we engaged in after arriving in Spain. At that time, Spain was in a deep economic crisis that only in the last couple of years have they been able to slowly begin to overcome. That is until the pandemic. The COVID pandemic has taken its toll in Spain in psychological, physical, and economic ways. We see each week the economic struggle of our neighbors at the food bank. The number of clients has increased exponentially.
Each week, we experience the physical need brought on by the economic toll. This week, we heard the overwhelming weight of the pandemic in the words of a client.
As we packed her cart with the allotment clients receive every 15 days, she shared:
“I am out of work. I have no income and the only money I have is 200 euro a month support from the government. My rent is 850 euros a month! I have lost three family members from COVID. I have had medical problems in the past year that have caused me to be in the hospital. I can’t take it anymore. I have lost the will to live. The only reason I go on is for my daughter. I have to carry-on for her.”
This is the reality of so many in Spain. They have lost family, jobs and even the will to go on. We are grateful for the faithful ministry of the Food Bank of Cerdanyola and its impact in the community that helps alleviate a small part of the burden our neighbors feel each and every day. Thanks to the generous support of churches and partners, we have been able to not only support the work of the food bank through our engagement each week, but we have been able to provide much needed financial support to ensure that the people of Cerdanyola continue to receive food allotments in the midst of this crisis.
Michelle Norman is a CBF field personnel serving in Barcelona, Spain