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    A man receives rations from a "popular food pot", Uruguay, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @RaulTNT

Published 25 December 2020 (17 hours 33 minutes ago)
Opinion

"Community pots" are being organized to alleviate the lack of food among the lowest-income people.

Montevideo's Social Development Director Mercedes Clara on Friday warned about the increase in cases of malnutrition in vulnerable social groups as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact in Uruguay. 

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'It is very difficult to live in the neighborhoods, not knowing what you are going to eat today, not being able to work, not having possibilities," Clara said.

The official also noted that social indicators show similar signs to those recorded during the 2002 crisis, highlighting that the capital city's councils have evidenced some signs of malnutrition in children.

Since the beginning of the health emergency, civic society groups started to distribute food in several neighborhoods across the country. According to the platform Solidaridaduy, there are 213 food pots in Montevideo alone.

The meme reads, "In the Cerro de Montevideo, people organize themselves also to make community pots. They are always ready to help those families that have lost their income due to the epidemiological situation triggered by COVID-19 in Uruguay."

On average, the pots in Montevideo serve 212 portions per day while in other provinces they serve 161 meals. 

As part of the Basic Citizen Support Plan (ABC), it is expected that US$41,570 will be allocated to support the pots until January 10 in Montevideo. New contributions will be evaluated according to the disposal of food supplies. 

The National Food Institute (INDA) also plans to allocate US$392,000 to support relief initiatives in Salto, Canelones, Ciudad del Plata, and Montevideo until February 28.

"During 2020, at least 700 experiences of popular pots emerged from the communities and territories... social and political organizations, neighbors, friends found ways to provide food, manage their preparation, and its distribution," a recent report by Social Sciences students noted.

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