Supermarkets, bakers and other food stores have enjoyed an unexpected upturn in sales volumes since late July, amounting to almost 10 million euros over an 11-day period, thanks to the “solidarity cards” that the Labor and Social Solidarity Ministry has issued to recipients of state benefits as a part of the government’s program to tackle the humanitarian crisis.
The chip-and-PIN card – issued by National Bank – is prepaid and is credited every month with 70 to 200 euros, depending on family size, income and property criteria. It can be used for the purchase of food at stores bearing the Mastercard sign, such as supermarkets, butchers, bakers etc.
The response to the plan has exceeded expectations as card users boosted the turnover at food stores by 9.47 million euros from July 24 to August 3. This has likely exceeded 11 million by now, according to ministry estimates.
A total of 145,359 cards have been distributed.