Pope Francis holds audience with Banco Alimentare
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday held an audience with the members of the Banco Alimentare, a charitable network which redistributes unused food products to the poor and needy.
Founded in 1989 by Sir Danilo Fossati and Father Luigi Giussani, Banco Alimentare is a Food Bank whose charitable efforts promote the recovery of excess food and redistribute it to charitable structures within Italy. Around 2,000 volunteers per day work to redistribute unused food, helping nearly 2 million people.
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In his address to the members of Banco Alimentare in the Vatican on Saturday, Pope Francis praised them for their “charitable network”, calling the levels of hunger in the world a “true scandal”.
“Hunger”, the Holy Father said, “has assumed dimensions of a true ‘scandal’ which threatens the life and dignity of many people.”
He called it an injustice that thousands of people go without food in a world ever more rich in alimentary resources.
The Holy Father also admitted the situation in Europe has been aggravated with the arrival of so many migrants and refugees who have fled from wars and violence in their home countries.
Recalling Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew “I was hungry and you gave me food”, Pope Francis thanked the members for their efforts to feed Italy’s hungry. “Though we cannot do a miracle as did Jesus,” he said, “we can do something humble … above all, we can educate ourselves in humanity to recognize the humanity present in every person in need.”
“Never forget”, he continued, “they are persons and not numbers … Remember to look them in the eye, shake their hand, recognize in them the body of Christ, and help them to reconquer their dignity.”