The Store

Close to families in temporary difficulties

In Portobello store, those in need receive purchasing power first of all. They can shop freely choosing the most useful products for the family, not paying in Euros but in points from a budget that is allocated on the basis of the number of family members at the period of their first access. The permission to access the store is granted by the social services, after verification of the  requirements, also in order to avoid wastes and duplications of services already offered by other subjects who provide aids in the area. The families receive between 50% and 60% of one month’s requirements.


Portobello wants to be a little help coming from your neighbours, from your community, at a difficult time, so that you can start again with confidence and face the challenges with the support of many. The aid has a duration of 6 months. At the end of six months, if the conditions of the family have not changed, you can make a second application, but you will have to line up to give others a chance to make use of the aid. Under the present demand conditions and availability of products and money, the expected wait is of at least 6 months. Therefore, it will be possible to receive help from Portobello for a maximum of two periods of six months each, not consecutive. You can not make a third application and with the assistance of the social services, it will be necessary to identify other types of family help.

Community project supported by individuals’ donations of time and money

Portobello store was built through the efforts of citizens, volunteers from 25 organizations, businesses, the public administration, which are cooperating to respond to a problem of economic crisis in our city. The Centre Services for Voluntary Work  has made available the human and material resources in order to coordinate the different parts, to build the store and its related services. It is not a help provided by the State, it is not financed by taxes, but by the voluntary donations of citizens and companies: it is based on the giving and volunteering. None of those involved in the supermarket receive money: they are all volunteers citizens who have decided to be protagonists in helping their city. Even products, for the most part, come from donations of businesses and citizens. Some products are purchased through money donations of citizens, foundations and companies. The Social Services assess the documentation and decide who can access the store, after meeting the people who have applied for it. The Municipality therefore ensures fairness and respect for the rules. Portobello’s volunteers and customers are responsible for the proper management of the market and the services connected to it. All people attending Portobello are responsible for the project’s success and effectiveness of the aid: clients may volunteer, everyone can make his own contribution and present ideas and together we discuss and improve the project. The help that anyone can get from Portobello is greater the more you manage to get into the spirit of solidarity and community that underlies it.

Giving: the exchange that generates wealth

Portobello store can continue and improve if everyone freely and free of charge does his duty as a responsible citizen and chooses to give time, money or goods to Portobello. The gift does not require anything in return, it is an act of trust, affection and responsibility. Volunteering for Portobello or for any other organizations does not entitle to receive money or points increase, as well as those who gave birth to Portobello and that make it work every day do not receive money or other kinds of assets. Volunteering is a sincere and free way of providing help to our fellow citizens in distress.