A “noble and generous” ending for the 1,600 million euros in pesetas that remain in Spain

The crisis arising from the coronavirus pandemic it will increase poverty in Spain by more than a million people, according to Oxfam Intermón.

The food bank is serving half a million more people than last year and, with this situation, the organization Solidarity Peseta has found a way to help: collect the millions of worthless pesetas that are still preserved. The old Spanish currency can still be exchanged for euros, and for many, donating them to the food bank is their best send-off.

The youngest do not remember them, but many still have them in their homes. Out of nostalgia or laziness, they have not been changed. Now they can use them again. You just have to sign up on the NGO’s website to be able to deliver them. They They collect them from house to house, exchange them into Euros and donate them to the Food Bank.

Accompanying them in these collections, we verify the good reception of the initiative among donors. “It’s something you don’t know what to do with it and, well … at least it works,” says a woman handing over a box with several old coins.

For the founder of the NGO, Laura Blanco, it is a way of give “a noble and generous end to the peseta”, which allows some Spaniards to help others in this time of need. “Despite the crisis, they want to give something for others, and maybe they don’t have euros, but they have pesetas, and it’s a way to help,” he says.

Since they launched the project, they have found all kinds of donors, always kind and generous, Laura insists. “From a lady who lives in Getafe who had a collection of bills that her sister had left for her children to a man who heard the news, but has no Internet or email or anything, he called the Food Bank and said I have eight kilos of blondes, and I want to donate them ”.

According to official figures, There are still 1,602 million euros in pesetas in the houses of the SpanishThat is why the Government has extended the deadline to change them to euros that expired at the end of this year. It has been extended until September 2021, something that ‘Peseta Solidaria’ celebrates, because it will give them more time to develop their initiative.

The food bank serves 40% more people than last year

His goal is to reach 12 million euros, a much-needed aid for the food bank, which has seen its demand grow by 40% this year due to the crisis that the pandemic has generated of COVID-19.

The profile of those who need help has also changed. “These are people who work and are in poverty, which is still a worse situation, because their salaries are so small that they do not make ends meet“, explains Mila Benito, marketing director of the Madrid Food Bank.

“Several times I have picked up the phone to people who have told me that before I was a volunteer at the food bank and they helped them, and now they call because they need help. And there is an added problem which is that we came from the crisis of 2008, then there were no savings in the families“, the Mint.

Before the pandemic there were only 350,000 people in poverty in Madrid. With this new crisis, from the Food Bank they fear that the real bad situation will come in January.