Last Update
April 2024
"Alla ska få mat": A story of compassion, community, and breaking the stigma around asking for help.

Project Story

All ska få mat”, in english “Everyone should get food”, is a non-profit association with the purpose of providing people in need with living essentials and spaces of understanding, connection and support. The organization aims to normalize asking for help and providing aid through people’s numerous challenges in life. Their target group is extremely broad ranging from single mothers and people on long-term sick leave to homeless individuals and elderly.

The effort was initiated by João Paulo as a facebook post and subsequently as facebook group during the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. Many friends had privately reached out to João to ask for help as unemployment and long-term illness rose amongst the more vulnerable segments of society. Touched and motivated by people’s timid requests for help with money for food, a crew formed around the idea of a solidarity project, which would unconditionally provide people with essential necessities through some of the most difficult moments in their lives. The association was created around the idea that it shouldn’t be shameful to ask for help, as we all can end up in a position of need through the unexpected turns of life.

João Journey

João Paulo, 35, moved from Brazil to Sweden when he was 20. He came from a family of 8 kids and a single mother and remembers vividly the hardships and poverty of his childhood and youth. Life was rough back then, so when arriving in Sweden, he wanted to dedicate himself professionally to helping others in need. “Alla ska få mat” has become a big part of his life and has given him deeper meaning and joy. He strongly believes that we must take care of each other, person to person, and not solely think about ourselves.

Many people lack basic support systems and in times of crisis the number increases and often exceeds the support that can be provided by institutions. Civil society and its numerous actors can jump in and pivot things for the better. Moreover, stigma around not being able to completely take care of yourself, interdependence so to speak, can make it difficult for people to reach out while they still can. It shouldn’t be embarrassing to ask for help and “Alla ska få mat” is providing a safe and dignified space to do it.

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