Brazil government’s intention is to reach 6.5 million families with its Family Voucher (Bolsa Familia) program, which has a US$ 1.97 billion (5.8 billion reais) budget this year. In this programa, each family gets on average US$ 25 a month.
According to minister of Social Development and Hunger Combat, Patrus Ananias, up to August the program had reached 4.5 million families, with the largest ever, one-time increase occurring exactly in August when 273,000 additional families joined it.
According to the secretary of Income and Citizenship, Andre Teixeira, the August increase came about because state and local authorities joined the program.
The states that joined in August were Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Acre, Ceará, Mato Grosso do Sul, São Paulo and Maranhão. In the near future, Pernambuco, Paraná, Goiás and Tocantins will join.
The government Zero Hunger program, a priority of the Lula administration has been revamped. Several govenment social assistance programs, such as the Food Card, School Scholarship and Food Voucher were unified.
Last month the government launche a new project called Brazilian Kitchen – Eating Intelligently with support of the Industrial Social Service (Sesi) as part of the Zero Hunger program.
The objective is to teach people to use food better and reduce waste in the kitchen. The project has 40 mobile kitchens that will roam the country carrying nutritionists who will give classes.
On the menu: roast beef with watermelon rind, banana peeling cake, roasted pumpkin seeds, salad of pumpkin skin, pizza of watercress stalks and so forth. “We are going to teach 250 recipes,” says Jair Meneguelli, head of Sesi.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Brazil is one of the world’s champion food wasters.