On 15 and 16 September the French Ministry of Agriculture took the opportunity of the “European Heritage Days” to organize a citizen consultation on Europe, in collaboration with the French Federation of Food Banks.
388 people answered questions about food banks, solidarity and the fight against hunger.
Food Banks: a well-known concept
85% of the respondents have already heard about a food bank. 98% of them know that it is an organization which collects food and redistributes it for free to associations supporting people in need.
The food collection in supermarkets is well-known: 95% of the respondents are aware of this. Which is less the case for the recovery of surplus food from farmers (57%) and manufacturers (56%).
The role of Europe: still not clear for a lot of people
The majority of the respondents (63%) think that the European Union has developed a specific program to help people in need, and many of them think this is logical. But only 34% of them are aware that European funds help financing the food collections.
Which means that there is still one-third of the citizens that doesn’t know that Europe is involved in helping feed people in need and has in fact developed tools to fight hunger.
Precarity in Europe is underestimated
On one hand, precarity is more massive than what people think.
On the other hand, the European network of food banks is much more developed than what people expect: 46% of the respondents estimates that 5.4 million people or less are helped each year by the European food banks. In fact, 8.1 million were helped in 2017!
Proposals to fight food waste and help people in need
More than 50% of the respondents have suggested one or more ideas to fight food waste and to help people in need.
- 38% of the suggestions are about setting up collective actions, for example by promoting the food collections to all the sectors: consumers, supermarkets, restaurants/catering…
- 34% are about individual responsibility: by buying in a reasonable way and giving more value to the leftovers at home.
- 28% are about educational and awareness actions, for the consumers in general but also at school.
- 15% are about legislative evolutions.
- And finally, some respondents suggested to address the industry and distribution sector, in order to create smaller packaging, bulk sales or give automatically their surplus food.
To know more about this citizen consultation, read here (in French).