As we have promised during our Friday check-in: we are providing a summary of the events ot the past week. Another wonderful collaboration came to pass and we have broken a record – but we’ll get to all of that in order.

Vitamin Commando is on the move again. Albeit only in small numbers for the time being, but they are roaming the streets again on Wednesdays and Fridays.

It is great news that a team of couriers from Piroska Kommandó has joined us recently to help with the distribution of sandwiches on Thursdays. They have a busy schedule: in addition to food, they are also delivering face masks. Elbow bump, guys! Together we can deliver a lot more food packages to those in need!

We have also broken a record this week: we have handed out more than 50,000 doses of vitamins since the state of emergency was declared. A significant part of this amount was raised from corporate donations and the rest with the help of private donors.

Celanese Hungary has been supporting our work for years now. Thanks to them we have been able to help Oltalom Charity Society with a donation of 200,000 HUF worth of non-perishable food. How did we manage this? It took many, many emails and nearly a month of consultation. But the result speaks for itself: 25 liters of cooking oil, 100 kg (200 packs) of pasta, 50 kg of rice, 60 kg potatoes and 30 kg smoked meat. This may sound like a lot, but when we are talking of feeding hundreds of people, it is only enough for about three or four days – even supplemented with additional ingredients from the kitchen of Oltalom.

An unusual meeting took place in the parking lot of Táblás Street shelter, the place where we have pitched our fundraising tent at the beginning of March. Employees of UID Hungary (a Turkish non-governmental organization) has arrived, loaded up with donations. They brought 50 face masks, 84 cartons of mineral water (which is very valuable for people living on the streets), cleaning products and what has quickly proven to be the biggest hit: three trays full of baklava! Not to mention that they have also contributed with a donation of 200,000 HUF, which will go a long way in ensuring that we can buy more food and disinfectants – whatever might be needed.

The members of UID has found us with the help of the website segítünkegymá Thank you very much for getting in touch with us!

Mother’s Day would not be forgotten this year either. We have prepared and handed out 400 packages to the mothers and grandmothers living in maternity homes, halfway houses and homeless shelters.

Red Cross’s gift of 6,500 Sport szelet chocolate bars was more that enough for all the Mothers’ Day packages, and the rest we have distributed amongst the residents of shelters and those living on the streets. Sport szelet is a great favourite, always a success with everyone.

Keep it in mind for the next time you meet a homeless person and you wish to bring them joy; a chocolate bar is always a great gift!

We have helped:

The Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta – Halfway house for families at Zugló; From Streets to Homes Association; Good Sheperd Maternity home; Establishments of the Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy and Its Institutions (BMSZKI); Kontur Public Benefit Association / Hős street;  Konkáv Community Space and Prevention Workshop; Oltalom Charity Society

Many thanks to the creators of the Quaranteen Canteen cookbook and to everyone who has bought the book. It is thanks to these offerings that we were able to buy the necessary supplies for the packages that we handed out: coffee, chocolate, biscuits, organic syrup, juice, pasta and bolognese sauce. A special thanks to them for also thinking of the doctors and nurses working hard for all of us in the front-line, day and night! They have prepared 600 packages for our health workers, which – among other things – contained sourdough bread baked by the city’s best bakers.

This has been our past week and we will just keep going! Our experience tells us that we must be prepared for more and more people to end up homeless, especially those who have already been precariously close to the periphery before the current crisis. As a result of the pandemic, many have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and became unable to pay for housing. Due to the current regulations however, it is next to impossible for anyone to gain admittance into a shelter presently – and as a result, these people have literaly nowhere to go. In these times we must think not only of the homeless, but of all these people as well!

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to make life a little easier for those in need!

The VitaminBoom Project continues – if you wish to join us as a volunteer, you may apply here, and if you would like to support us you can do that here. Thank you for your help!