The Spanish Federation of Food Banks (FESBAL) has awarded BBVA its 2016 Espiga de Oro award in recognition of the bank’s community involvement program that has helped reinforce the infrastructure in the federation’s 56 food banks.
Antoni Ballabriga, Global Head of Responsible Business at BBVA, gratefully accepted the award at an event held in Madrid and attended by Susana Camarero, Secretary of State for Equality and Social Services, and Dolores Ruiz, director of Family and Children’s Services. The other Espiga de Oro 2016 was awarded ex aequo to Obra Social La Caixa for its support for its initiatives of raising social awareness and its promotion of the milk collection campaigns. The Loyalty Award went to Unilever España, Danone and Ebro Foods for “their long and unbroken record of collaboration”.
At the event, which featured much applause and several homages, FESBAL unveiled two new awards. The first was the 20th Anniversary award for the institution’s most long-lived volunteer, the centenarian Luis Ortiz Alfau, who has been collaborating with the Vizcaya Food Bank for 20 years. He attended the event in person and provided a shining example of enthusiasm and commitment. And the second was the award for Continuous Cooperation which went to the firm J&A Garrigues for their disinterested collaboration in tax and legal matters. The Food Banks’ Gold Medal was awarded to the most noteworthy volunteers from among the almost 3,000 who collaborate with FESBAL for their work in some of the food banks.
The Spanish Food Banks came about in 1987 and were formed into a federation in 1996. Their purpose is to work to help disadvantaged families by providing them with free supplies of staple foods. The impact of this organization has continued to grow, and in 2015 it broke its own record in its 20 years of existence when it distributed 53 million kilos of food and reached out to one and a half million people.
This 13th edition of the awards, which distinguish the work of companies, people, foundations and institutions who have supported FESBAL, was especially significant for the charitable institution, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary.