Coronavirus in Chile

Government to Distribute Another Three Million Food Boxes Among Poorest

SANTIAGO – In a further bid to combat the economic crisis in Chile related to the coronavirus outbreak, the Chilean government has announced another food distribution campaign for the country’s poorest families. Three million food boxes are to be delivered starting this week, with half slated for the Metropolitan Region. Several ingredients have been added, such as condoms and sanitary towels.

Minister of Social Development Cristián Monckeberg announced on Sunday, July 12, that the Chilean government would start this week with another food distribution campaign, meant to alleviate the dire situation Chile’s most vulnerable families are facing due to the pandemic: 1.5 million food boxes will be distributed among families in the Metropolitan region, with an additional 1.5 million in other regions across Chile.

The food boxes will contain, just as the first distribution campaign of 2.5 million boxes, essential ingredients such as flower, sugar, rice, and pasta. However, products such as condoms and sanitary towels will also be added under the new campaign. According to the minister, the boxes will also contain flyers with sexual education.

During his announcement, Minister Monckeberg touched on problems related to the first food distribution program. He said the campaign was “not without difficulties, but quite successful.” Several mayors criticized the first campaign because they ended up paying for the distribution, while other municipalities denounced shortages of boxes and delays in distribution.

Another aspect that was heavily criticized was the social media campaign around the program, which was aimed at uplifting President Piñera’s political image. Experts also complained that people with allergies or vegetarians were not taken in consideration with these programs and suggested that food coupons were the better option in this regard and that they would also better support the local economy.

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