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Austria: collecting food and money for the poor. Mgr. Landau (Caritas), “destitution is a fact in our country”

One million 200 thousand poor people in Austria, 410 thousand of whom are destitute with nothing to live on. This figure was relayed by the national president of Caritas, mgr. Michael Landau, at a press conference for the presentation of the “Erntedanksammlung” (Collection sites). Along with the archbishop of Vienna, card. Christoph Schönborn, Landau recalled that there’s a fate behind each poor person: that’s why, until October 22nd, 166 parishes in Vienna and Lower Austria are involved in a big collection of money and long-lasting foods as well as other basic necessities. Long-lasting food, mainly sugar, rice, oil, preserves, coffee, tea and salt, are handed out to women, children and men. When hundreds of people collect food at the parish, “they do it not to leave their neighbours alone: these people’s efforts and solidarity are huge”, and, for such “charitable deed”, cardinal Schönborn thanked them straightaway. Caritas hands out 14 tons of food a week to the poor, as Landau reported: “Even if poverty is often invisible, it does not affect just a few people: poverty is a fact in our country”. Landau also attended a meeting organised by the Catholic news agency “Kathpress” about the election campaign that is going on in Austria and the ensuing social debate. “A good future-driven welfare state – he said – does not forget the socially weaker ones”.

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