The ambitious target of the “Every Step Counts” initiative, the third edition of which, concluded on 18 December, consisted of the provision of a million meals to needy families in just three months. The process was simple: every kilometre travelled, by anyone, at any time and anywhere, could be converted into a meal donated to the Food Emergency Network.
Promoted by Rádio Comercial and TVI, the campaign was also backed by the Portuguese Football Federation which, in the year of the World Cup, contributed with the total distance covered by the national team´s players in the five matches played in the aforementioned competition and in the friendly with Nigeria, all of which was converted into 700 food baskets.
The initial target was, however, surpassed, as Diogo Sousa, Head of Communications at Galp, emphasised while handing over a hundred very special food baskets in the municipality of Cascais, 25 by each of the four selected institutions – the AJU Foundation, ABLA, the Vincentian Conference of Cascais and the Vincentian Conference of Trajouce. “Once again, the initiative has proven to be extremely popular. We had three months in which to reach a million kilometres and the respective number of meals, and we even managed to exceed this ambitious target in such a short space of time thanks to everyone's generosity and commitment”, he declared.
The three editions of the Every Step Counts campaign have amassed a total of 2.2 million meals and the idea, reveals Diogo Sousa, is to continue. “This is direct, on-the-spot support, as for every 150,000 kilometres registered, the corresponding number of meals are delivered immediately”, argues Galp's head of communications. In Portugal, this work is carried out in partnership with the Food Emergency Network, which operates on a nationwide basis and can therefore channel the baskets to the institutions working in the field. This is was what happened in Cascais, in a partnership that also included the city council, where these “symbolic” baskets with “more Christmassy” contents were delivered.
In the opinion of the mayor of Cascais, Carlos Carreiras, “this donation serves to strengthen the partnership with Galp, as a means of mitigating the effect of the recent successive crises on the lives of the country´s most impoverished families, regardless of whether they are Portuguese citizens or refugees, and which are always likely to suffer the most”. Moreover, and due to the fact the initiative is based on values of solidarity and social inclusion, “we are making use of the municpality´s existing social network, which includes several institutions in addition to the City Council and the Parish Councils”. As far as the mayor is concerned, the fact that this food was delivered so close to Christmas turned it into a “festive occasion”, however, he warns, “we mustn´t forget that initiatives like this are needed every single day”. Because, as the saying goes, “Christmas is whenever we want it to be”.