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Police and waitress buy groceries from their own pockets for strapped family
24 March 2020 @ 14:10

GUARDIA Civil officers in a northern Alicante-province coastal town bought groceries out of their own pockets for a family with practically no income and who were in dire straits because of the national quarantine.

Marta, from Calpe, got a call from the social services cancelling her appointment due to the lockdown – and she had hoped to get help from them to feed her children.

Her two daughters, aged 10 and six, receive free school meals, but schools are now closed nationwide – and she also has a son aged two-and-a-half.

“I was so desperate, I didn't know what to do – I just left the house, heading for the town hall, to try to get help. You can tell an adult that they have to grin and bear it, but how can I look my three children in the eye and tell them they can't have breakfast because there's literally nothing in the cupboard or the fridge?” Marta said.

The Guardia Civil caught her 200 metres from her home and asked where she was going, and told her the town hall was shut and to go home.

Once there, not knowing what else to do, she rang the 112 emergency helpline as a last resort.

“The girl who took my call took my details and told me not to worry, that she would sort it for me,” Marta explains.

Minutes later, she got a call from the Guardia Civil.

“They told me the Red Cross couldn't bring me food, because they were still trying to work out how to do it and wouldn't have a system set up for a couple of days at least.

“Then they asked me what I needed. I said, just the very basics. I don't want anything fancy, just pasta or something so they can eat, and something basic for breakfast.”

She assumed the Guardia Civil would contact a local charity or food bank.

But when she opened the door less than an hour later, she found herself face to face with the two officers who had stopped her earlier and sent her home.

And they had not just bought the usual pasta, dried lentils and rice.

“There were biscuits, milk cartons, chorizo, pasta, sliced bread, yoghurts, tinned tomato, rice, mandarins, apples – and even sweets for the kids!” Said the astonished mum.

The officers had bought the goods with their own, personal money.

Marta said she was sobbing with relief – but the officers' kindness was only the start of the story.

News of her plight began to spread around town and, a couple of days later, she answered the door to two different Guardia Civil officers weighed down with supermarket bags.

“They said these were from Ana, who works at Grizzly's Bar on the Fustera beach, had heard about us and wanted to help,” Marta revealed.

“There was another full box of milk cartons, several pre-packed ready meals, ham, sliced bread, sponge cakes, two packets of cereal, two jars of pâté, beans, chickpeas, potatoes – and money.



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