More than 200 families are seeking assistance from the Millennium Chapel, Fr Hilary Tagliaferro told Newsbook.com.mt.
This newsroom sat down with Fr Hilary and discussed the services offered by the Millennium Chapel, including WOW – Wishing Others Well.
The coronavirus pandemic followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have left their impact on the global economy. The latter has had an outsized impact on the global supply chain, impeding the flow of goods, fueling dramatic cost increases and product shortages, and creating catastrophic food shortages around the world.
This global reality is also being felt in Malta, as inflation hits.
Speaking to this newsroom, Fr Hilary explained that the food banks and clothing banks were set up when the Millennium Chapel opened its doors in 2000. Initially some ten families sought assistance from the Millennium Chapel, the number has grown to over 200 in 22 years, Fr Hilary observed. The numbers are only for the Millennium Chapel, as such services are offered by other parishes and food banks run by non-governmental organisations.
Asked if service users are screened, Fr Hilary underlined that people do not like to beg, and those who seek assistance are really in need, however, there are a few who would abuse from the system, by benefitting from different services. For a person to benefit from these services, the individual has to earn less than €12,000, and has to face an interview. Sometimes, someone from the Millennium Chapel visits the person’s residence.
Malta is part of the capitalist system, Fr Hilary said, adding that where there is money, there is also poverty as the wealth gap continues to increase.
“People are struggling with inflation, rising rents, medicine, and utility bills,” he said.
Those seeking assistance from the Millennium Chapel are both Maltese nationals, who usually request food, and refugees, who need clothes and other basic things. Fr Hilary added that people have also been very generous both in their donations and in helping out with the distribution.
The Millennium Chapel does not only assist people on a spiritual level, Fr Hilary said, and added that God created the human in their totally, and thus the chapel offers both services for the soul and a person’s needs.
Counselling, by qualified individuals, is also offered at the Millennium Chapel.
He concluded by saying that one should never give up, and stressed that there is always someone ready to help.