Visiting social initiatives

In this seminar the seniors visited 3 social initiatives around Sabadell and Barcelona. Below you can read more about our experiences:

Banc del aliment

First we visited a food bank, where they gather food and distribute it to 130.000 inhabitants in need around the Barcelona area. People in the area are in need of food supplies and some are even starving.

A system of points secured that the food get distributed to the people who are in big need of supplies. They get the food from certain shops, churches and other volunteers in a large network in the area.
To make sure the food is in a good quality, they have a group of people, who is in charge of monitoring the food.

The participants: It really is impressive the work they are doing here. It should be a very complex task; distributing food to 130.000 inhabitants, but they make it look so easy. It is well-organized and they make sure that the people with most need are helped.


The group visited an institution for handicapped, founded by CIPO, originally initiated and run by relatives. It started in the sixties, because of the poor service towards families with handicapped and retarded children. There were no schools and training facilities for the handicapped.

The CIPO had educational facilities, manufacturing and training facilities. The facility has a budget of 4 mio. euro per year (2 million euro from private funds and 2 million from state and regional funds and earning from many services; sold to the surrounding community).

It has 300 users. In addition to that there is a small fee to cover the food served in the facility.

CIPO trains the users in democratic values and participation. However, the facility CIPO is just a “drop in the sea”, with around 11.000 people who have a mental or other kind of handicap in and around Sabadell.

The participants: were overwhelmed by the enormous problem regarding the area. Many saw the place as a creative space with patient and passionated staff.

The Mercat Merinals

The participants visited the Mercat Merinals in Sabadell, project Merc@punt in collaboration with red cross.
The group visited a shop, where poor people could pick up food. It looked like a supermarket, but without money. Instead “customers” have several points that they can use to get food.

The supermarket is run by employees and some volunteers.