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Porto municipal workers’ Christmas gets a different treatment this year

Porto municipal workers’ Christmas gets a different treatment this year

An annual tradition is adapted to the new reality with beneficial results

Every Christmas, since the early years of this century, the municipal employees of Porto get together for a large Christmas dinner, the way workers from many companies and organizations do. This year, due to the already well-known circumstances imposed unduly by the coronavirus crisis upon the world, most such joyful gatherings have been cancelled and the same goes for the Municipality of Porto.

Cancelled dinner, however, does not mean that there will be no food. It was decided, on Thursday 17 December, that the food that would have been served on the tables will be packed in lunchboxes and delivered to residents of the Portuguese city who are homeless or in dire need.

A fine example not only of solidarity but also of responsible food treatment

Porto municipal employees all belong to an organization called Trabalhadores da Câmara Municipal do Porto (CCD Porto) and in what has become a dear tradition, every Christmas they get treated to a large dinner party at their Cultural and Sports Centre. CCD Porto was established 52 years ago in order to look after the needs of the workers and offer them a variety of sports, cultural, educational and health activities.

This year, however, due to the extraordinary sanitary measures and the dearth of volunteers for social services, they decided to take an example from another local project called ‘Porta Solidária’ (Solidarity Door) – which is essentially a soup kitchen service for those in need.

The workers were given the opportunity to use the space of the Nossa Senhora da Conceição Church, in Marquês neighbourhood, where they packed and distributed 600 kits of food to people in vulnerable situations.

Father Rubens invited us to have our Christmas dinner here. We will do it in a completely different way, this time, there are kits that include potatoes with cod (traditional Portuguese dish), soup, king cake and fruit. The people also receive a sandwich, fruit and yoghurt for lunch the following day,” explained António Gouveia Santos, President of CCD Porto, on the occasion.

That evening some 600 meals were distributed in that way, underlining the lessons learned from 2020 - that is solidarity and empathy remain the mainstays of a thriving community.

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