We’ve reached 2,318 people, made 50 deliveries a day and helped more than 600 households. Those are the figures so far for the ‘Catania Aiuta’ (‘Catania helps’) service run by EMERGENCY Catania in Phase 1 of the Covid-19 crisis. The project to deliver food and basic goods to the city’s most vulnerable is now drawing to a close. It has involved more than 130 volunteers and was only possible with the support of Rete Catanese, a network of 26 local associations.
During the lockdown phase, volunteers from EMERGENCY and the other associations on board delivered food and basic goods to anyone in dire poverty, stuck at home alone or unable to pop out to the grocer’s or the chemist’s on their own.
Families have had the chance to call the ‘Catania Aiuta’ service on two dedicated landline numbers, run by the associations Giardino di Scidà – Siciliani Giovani and ARCI Catania, send texts or WhatsApp messages to the switchboard, or write on ‘Catania Solidale’ portal’s chat, run by the Restiamoumani Incontriamoci network.
Over the months in Phase 1, EMERGENCY’s volunteers gave out hand sanitiser – produced and donated by the chemistry department at the University of Catania – to poor families who asked for it, along with washable, recyclable masks from Legambiente Catania. Social services at Catania’s municipal council also gave the sanitiser from the university to 250 gypsies in camps around Catania.
The ‘Catania Aiuta’ project was made possible in part by the support and help of the 26 associations in the Rete Catanese – Restiamoumani Incontriamoci network. These include Chiese Battista e Valdese, Fondazione Angelo D’Arrigo, the chemistry department at the University of Catania, Legambiente, Gruppo Volontari Italia and Banco Alimentare Sicilia.