As every year, on the occasion of the World Food Day (October 16th) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (October 17th), the Food Banks organize many events in order to mobilize the people in the fight against food waste and social exclusion in Europe.
World Food Day was proclaimed in 1979 to raise people's awareness of the world food problem and to strengthen solidarity in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. Celebrated since 1993, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty gives the general public the opportunity to listen to the poor and to commit itself to fight poverty and misery. As part of these two days, many Food Banks collect food and organize events in several European Countries.
Actions and events organized by the Food Banks across Europe in October and November 2013:
In Belgium: a food collection with the motto "To give a present is to offer a meal" in Delhaize Supermarkets, partners of the Belgian Food Banks for 23 years. From October 17th to 23rd, vouchers were distributed at the stores entrances, giving the opportunity to offer a breakfast (1.50€), a hot meal (3€) and/or three meals (5€)) to the most deprived persons. These meal vouchers could also be downloaded from the website of the Belgian Federation. The collected sum was fully converted into food products to be delivered by Delhaize employees to the nine Belgian Food Banks.
In the Czech Republic: a food drive by the Ostrava Food Bank. From October 14th to October 18th, the general public was invited to donate non-perishable food items (sugar, oil, pasta, rice...) to the homeless as well as to the social services involved in the fight against social exclusion of the most deprived. More than 2500 kg of food products have thus been collected and distributed to charitable organizations.
In Estonia: a food collection in supermarkets and an information campaign launched on October 17th. This three-week campaign aims at drawing public attention towards poor families in Estonia as well as on poverty and its underlying problems, such as social exclusion and financial privation. It also tends to emphasize the daily work of Food Banks in the fight against food waste and to encourage Estonians to revise their consumption habits. Via two phone numbers, the public has the possibility to donate 2 or 8 € to the Food Bank.
In Luxembourg: a campaign to donate small amounts of money (2€ per purchased product) by the Pizza Hut customers of Strassen, Beggen and Place d'Armes. The amount collected through various proposed activities (e.g. having an entry at the Wheel of Chance, buying a Pizza Crown cheeseburger or a deck of cards) has been fully paid to the Food Bank of Luxembourg. The Food Bank is leading the action for the third time in partnership with the Luxembourg Lions Club and the logistical support of "La Provençale". This money will be used to purchase food products at a preferential rate from the "La Provençale" regional supply centre.
In France: a "large kitchen workshop" on the "Place de la République" in Paris, hosted by a chef and some volunteers. Along with other charitable organizations, the French Federation of Food Banks (FFBA) was thus trying to raise public awareness on the fight against food waste. On this occasion, the President of the French Federation, Mr Alain Seugé, gave an interview about the work of the FFBA to the free "20 minutes" newspaper. Mr Maurice Lony (Federal Director) and Mr Joel Duke (Health and Food Safety Manager) have also been invited to speak on the national radio channels France Info and LCI.
In Italy: a conference around the 10th Anniversary of the Good Samaritan Act adopted in 2003. This conference was organized by the Italian Federation of Food Banks in Rome and brought together many representatives of the Italian and European political domain, such as Mrs Nunzia De Girolamo, Italian Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, and Mrs Isabel Jonet, President of the European Federation of Food Banks and of the Portugal Food Bank.
In Ukraine: a food collection within many companies in Kiev. From October 7th to 14th, packaging and transportation of collected food were supported by volunteers from the Ukrainian Food Bank as well as by employees of several companies, such as Alfred C. Toepfer International, Crédit Agricole, ADM and Cargill.
In Bulgaria: a big debate about food waste and a projection of the film "Taste the Waste". During the week of October 16th, several meetings with students and representatives of various Bulgarian community groups were held in order to educate the public about the problems of hunger and the massive waste of edible food in Bulgaria. The key event of the program around the World Food Day was the film "Taste the Waste", attended by over 120 people. The Food Bank was also able to distribute to the most deprived more than 400 kilograms of pastries, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as 285 litres of milk, given by partner companies such as Kraft and Nestlé. On Friday October 18th, an open day at the Slatina warehouse allowed all visitors to participate in the daily work of a Food Bank, including the sorting and distribution of recovered food.