BUENOS AIRES – Social organizations on Tuesday shared free food prepared in assorted “soup kitchens” on this capital’s streets to call for approval of the social emergency law being debated in Congress, which includes investing $1.8 million to fight poverty.
Rice, chicken and noodles were some of the items being served at the soup kitchens set up during the day at various places, including Congress and the downtown Obelisk, to demand approval of the law being discussed on Tuesday in the lower house, having already being partly approved in the Senate, and which enjoys broad political support.
“We’re doing the soup kitchens to show this government ... that we want a change,” Mauricio Tuoso, a member of the Evita and Ctep movement, told EFE.
Johanna Lopez, a member of the Poderosa association, said that the social emergency law is “needed” mainly so that those living in the “villas,” or slums, where cafeterias and other eateries “don’t have enough (food) because of the number of people who keep coming and asking for a plate of food.”
The idea to freely distribute cooked meals is being pursued to support the law to establish social programs and establish the means to resolve the “employment crisis,” Lopez said.
Paola Adriana Burgos said that setting up the street soup kitchens is also designed to demand the creation of a million jobs.
Free food is also being distributed outside the capital, such as in Puente de Avellaneda, La Noria and Puente de Saavedra.
This isn’t the first time that organizations have set up soup kitchens around the city and protested the existence of poverty and unemployment.
Having come into office almost exactly a year ago, the Mauricio Macro administration has acknowledged that the past year has been economically difficult but is predicting improvements for 2017.
“The second half (of 2016) is the time when the light at the end of the tunnel appeared ... but you’re still in the tunnel. You’re starting to see that inflation is falling, ... that construction workers are starting to be hired for specific projects,” Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti said in an interview published Monday in the daily Tribuno de Salta.
“We’re starting to see small lights, but we’re not going to feel an improvement in daily life or an (economic) reactivation because we have to wait until next year for economic growth,” she continued.
Michetti emphasized that the country, where 32.2 percent of the people are “poor” – is probably going through one of its most difficult periods because it’s emerging from the populist administration of Cristina Fernandez, who governed from 2007-2015.