Dear members and friends of the FEBA food bank network,
In this letter, I would like to share some news with you.
Annual convention in Poland, June 12 and 13, 2015
56 delegates from 22 countries and FEBA staff members met in Olsztyn (Poland) for their annual convention and for the general assembly of FEBA. The chosen date coincided with the celebration of the 15th anniversary of the creation of the Olsztyn Food Bank.
The role of food and of food banks in the process of social inclusion of deprived people was the central theme of the convention. Recognizing that providing food on a regular basis offers opportunities to food bank volunteers and employees to develop relationships with people experiencing poverty, many member Food Banks are actively involved in social insertion activities as revealed by an FEBA internal survey.
Such activities include offering jobs in food bank warehouses (forklift operator, sorter, driver) or offices, taking on vulnerable people as volunteers and delivering on-the-job training, organizing group-cooking events, providing education around nutrition and food waste prevention, partnering with institutions for the creation of food production or food processing social enterprises etc.
Win–win experiences for food banks and vulnerable people were reviewed and assessed during the various sessions giving place to rich debates and to a better understanding of what is feasible or not for food banks considering to become more active in social inclusion.
While everybody agreed that social inclusion is not part of the core mission of food banks, most participants acknowledged that involving deprived people in food bank operations can be of precious help and often generates positive experiences.
At the end, an eye-opening session was held on the pros and cons for food banks to be recognized as actors of the social economy .There appeared to be a mounting interest for this third economic sector as an innovative way to address rising unemployment issues. It also appeared that the regulatory environment regarding social enterprises remains somewhat a grey area varying greatly from country to country and therefore it was probably too early to draw firm conclusions for our network at this stage.
Here is the link of the video about good practices in social inclusion broadcasted during the annual meeting: http://youtu.be/y4YPAWeW9oI.
This annual meeting was also the opportunity to reinforce the strong relationship between members of the European Union and to reaffirm that “Together, we are stronger”.
A huge thank you to the Polish Federation of Food Banks and the Olsztyn Food Bank for their wonderful and efficient cooperation in organizing this event with the FEBA staff and as well as for their warm welcome.
Election of FEBA Board of Directors
The general assembly was the opportunity to review the key achievements of the network during 2014 and discuss the orientations for the current year.
As in every three years, a new Board of Directors was elected by the FEBA member representatives. Here below is its composition (from left to right):
- Antonio OLIVA (Italy)
- Tom HILLEMANS - Secretary (Netherlands)
- Jean-Louis BOILEAU - Vice-President (France)
- Jean-M DELMELLE (Belgium)
- Vaidotas ILGIUS (Lithuania)
- Piet BOEREFIJN (Estonia)
- Eduard ARRUGA (Spain)
- Balazs CSEH (Hungary)
- Isabel JONET - President (Portugal)
- Nathalie BOLGERT - Treasurer (Poland)
- Giancarlo ROVATI (Italy)
- Lindsay BOSWELL (United-Kingdom) does not appear on the picture
New website and Facebook page for FEBA
After six months of hard work, the new FEBA website is now online, using the same IP address as before: www.eurofoodbank.org. We took great care to make it more modern and user friendly whilst remaining very attentive to the quality of the information provided. We improved the information related to “Food Poverty” and “Food Waste” in Europe. We defined more clearly our vision, mission and strategic activities. We also thought it important to re-affirm why food banking is such an efficient model to simultaneously alleviate food poverty and reduce food waste. Also, we added a few videos to illustrate the activities of our members.
And now, FEBA also has a new Facebook page, which we expect you to like! We will inform our community about our activity but also relay the key events of FEBA member Food Banks. If you want us to share some news, send them to us so that we can transfer it.
And of course, if you have any issues, suggestions or questions, let us know.
Thank you for your cooperation in our effort to fight against hunger and food waste.