For more than a quarter of a century, SPAR Hungary has been a strategic partner of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta and cooperates with the organisation in many areas to help disadvantaged fellow human beings. With a new joint initiative, since September 2022, they also regularly deliver daily food donations to those in greatest need.
SPAR joined the Munch food rescue app last year, which allows shoppers to rescue food that would otherwise end up in the bin. After a six-month trial period, from June this year, all SPAR and INTERSPAR stores offer shoppers the opportunity to access packages of products at up to 66 per cent off the price, depending on stock levels, using the Munch app. If the food products are not sold through Munch, good-quality goods will not be lost, because thanks to the cooperation with the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service, they will be given directly to the needy, the elderly, people battling illnesses and the homeless.
“Since September last year, we have distributed almost 174 tonnes of good-quality food to people in need through our food rescue programme, with the help of the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service. The organisation currently has a permanent relationship with 27 SPAR and INTERSPAR stores. From these locations, an average of 150 crates of food donations each day, typically vegetables, fruit, bakery, meat and dairy products, are delivered to people in need,” explained Márk Maczelka, head of communications at SPAR Hungary. He also added that in the coming weeks, three more stores across the country are expected to join the noble initiative.
While in the first month of the joint initiative, in September 2022, 423 kilogrammes of food was delivered to the needy, by March and April this year the amount had already increased to more than 30 000 kilograms, and with the addition of new stores, this number is expected to rise even further.
“Every weekday morning, a staff member from the logistics centre of the Maltese Charity on Határ Road visits the shops in Budapest, while our colleagues throughout the country do the same job. In Budapest, among other places, we deliver food to the 29 families of the Zugló Family Transition Home of the House of Inclusion, whose daily expenses are significantly reduced by regular food donations, and also to the Rimaszombati Road Social Centre, a shelter for homeless people that serves as a night shelter and daytime warming centre, where food is distributed to the residents and people in need who come in during the day. At the Zombori Road House of Care – Shelter for the Homeless, where elderly and sick homeless people are sheltered and there is also a disinfectant bathing station, the rescued food is used in a variety of ways: sandwiches are made for people who come to the baths, while the residents cook together. In rural communities, the food donation helps elderly people, families in difficult situations and homeless people with their daily needs,” said Tamás Romhányi, head of communications of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta, with some examples of how food taken over from the Hungarian retail chain helps the needy.