The One who fills our warehouses

During the pandemic, demand has increased by 30%. But extraordinary donations to the Lazio Food Bank have never been lacking, like the donations from comedian Maurizio Battista and his friends from "The Hummingbird".

Taking an interest in others and helping those in need is a law written deep within our hearts, which knows no barriers. It disrupts all calculations, because it is everyone's wish. Just look at the comments on Facebook in response to the initiative by Roman comedian Maurizio Battista, his friends and fans of the group called "The Hummingbird". "I am moved!”, "Seeing these things makes me feel good” or: "Thanks Maurizio, because you gave us this opportunity."

But let us go in order: a few weeks ago, Maurizio Battista sent an email to the Lazio Food Bank offering us the possibility to receive donations of food purchased through the fundraising activities of "The Hummingbird". Maurizio and Francesco Marchetti, coordinators of the group, decided to buy food to donate to the Lazio Food Bank at the Pewex supermarket in Via del Serafico in Rome. The store manager, Damiano, got involved in the gesture and offered them a further discount. In recent weeks, two of the Bank's vehicles have gone weekly to pick up the products and take them to the central warehouse in Aprilia, where they are distributed to over 400 charitable organizations that assist about 85,000 poor people in our region.

The initiative, Francesco told us, was born from Maurizio Battista and his friends’ desire to help those who are suffering the most from the health emergency. The choice of the name "The Hummingbird" comes from a fable of the same name: due to a forest fire, all the animals fled and, in their flight, they met a hummingbird, which headed towards the fire with a drop of water in its beak. Lions, rhinos and giraffes mocked him, but the hummingbird answered: "I do my part.” So Maurizio and his friends have decided to do the same.

They have collected more than 20 thousand euros that has been transformed into food for the poor. Most donations are not more than a few dozen euros, even less than ten euros, but many wanted to express their closeness to those in difficulty due to the the Covid-19 emergency. Francesco told us that a lady who had given a small amount wrote to him: "Mauri', I can only give this much because I am retired. But I give it with all my heart, thank you."

The initiative has left us speechless and amazed at its simplicity. Charity, Pope Francis has reminded us several times, is contagious. We have had proof of this in recent days: we received a message from a food company that, having learnt of the Hummingbird gesture, decided to make a donation in alimony. These weeks have been dotted with events like these and with a charity that attracts others.

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Our warehouses, although demand has increased by more than 30%, have never been empty and we are receiving donations regularly. Several times, in this recent period, we have wondered whether we should give up responding to all the requests for help that we receive, even from municipalities and associations to which we are not affiliated. But we have decided to continue to say yes and to respond in whatever way we can, certain that it is not our strategy or capacity that fills our warehouses, but He who gives meaning to our lives.

Giuliano, Rome, Italy