Autopista Central and the Food Network are providing basic necessities in an initiative that combines positive social and environmental impacts.
Ana del Carmen Lagos, 71 years old, could hardly believe it when she was contacted last November to be part of a new initiative to be launched in the Municipality of San Bernardo. She and another 2,500 senior citizens in the municipality would benefit from the delivery of goods and toiletries.
“Having been considered for this aid is a blessing for us all. There are many senior citizens who are alone, whose income does not suffice and they don’t have enough to eat. The ‘Social Pantry’ arrived to support and pamper us. We are very grateful for that,” she said.
For Autopista Central of the VíasChile Group, participating in this project from its start in December 2021 has been a hugely gratifying experience. This was noted by Andrés Barberis, its chief executive officer.
He said “the opportunity to be a part of the first Social Pantry in the country is a reason for pride for all at Autopista Central, one of the concessions managed by the VíasChile Group. In recent years, we have reinforced our commitment to communities and to the territories where we operate and we have accepted challenges and become involved in new social aid projects. Organizations like the Food Network are able to create ties for consistent aid, contributing to a more integrated and active society, a purpose that has united us in the alliance for the senior citizens of San Bernardo, one of the municipalities where we have operations.
Contribution to the Environment
Added to the social impact of this initiative is an important environmental contribution. Since the Social Pantry began operation, more than 600 tons of food and basic necessities have been furnished. This means that 72 kilos of carbon dioxide emissions have been avoided per month per each of the 2,500 beneficiaries, which also represents a major contribution to care for the environment.
To María Pía Tejos, Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager of VíasChile, “this is an initiative of great social and environmental impact that falls within the corporate policies of VíasChile of contributing to creating a more sustainable society. On the one hand, it means a concrete contribution to improving the quality of life of people who really need it, in addition to supporting a circular economy and avoiding food waste.”
For María José Vergara, Social Management Manager of the Food Network, “this initiative allows senior citizens to redistribute their income to focus on medication, health and utilities, among other aspects. Many people must decide between buying food or medicine. Now, the beneficiaries might not have to make that difficult choice.”