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17991550 818199918344353 3260431402053208096 oRotterdam, April 20th - 22nd

More than 90 delegates from 30 countries traveled to the city to join the two-day annual convention.

The convention was kicked-off by the Dutch State Secretary of Social Affairs and Employment, Jetta Klijnsma. Mrs. Klijnsma, who as a longtime advocate for food banking, stated that food banks give much more than “just” food: “Food banks of course help people with food, but also help people in other ways. They can help them to get their administration in order (again) or to apply for income assistance. Or they give advice and empower people. Food banks can also refer clients for help to other institutions, for instance municipalities.” Her message was clear: food banks provide a safety net to many people in need and their existence is therefore vital to the future of Europe.

Sharing fundraising skills

17917884 818218655009146 565477070632720328 o"The sustainability of food banks" was the central theme chosen for the convention this year with a specific focus on fundraising strategies and best practices.

The first session was dedicated to the topic of corporate partnerships and how to establish a model of collaboration, that is a sustainable win-win for both the partnering company and the food bank. Five representatives from Unilever, CHEP/Brambles, Kellogg, Cargill and FrieslandCampina, gave insightful presentations on how and why they cooperate with food banks, by either donating food or by funding capacity building or skill development projects.

The FEBA award 2017 was attributed to Unilever in recognition of its support to FEBA developing food banks in Central and South Europe during the last threeyears.

FEBA wishes to thank: Unilever, CHEP/Brambles, Kellogg, Cargill and FrieslandCampina for their inspiring contributions to our Global Partner Session.

The second session involved presentations by Lindsay Boswell, CEO of FareShare UK and Lisa Moon CEO of the Global Food banking Network. Both speakers shared their long experience of fundraising for non-profit organizations from various sources by providing multiple examples of partnerships and addressing questions from the audience.

C96u8UUUwAAqLRBThe third session was dedicated to sharing fundraising skills among FEBA members. Six food bank organizations presented and discussed their most recent, and effective, initiatives in that area: 

  • The Bordeaux food bank crowdfunded through social media activity and a video campaign for the acquisition of a delivery truck.
  • The Hungarian association created a “cause-related-marketing” campaign, based on the collaboration with restaurants, company-canteens and partner organizations where each of them offered a “charity menu” where the price included a donation to the food bank.
  •   The Italian Federation presented the campaign ‘three cheers for breakfast’  launched in collaboration with Kellogg, who donated breakfast products and funding to provide education on the importance of eating a healthy breakfast to more than 100.000 children in need in 2016. The campaign will continue in 2017, and will also target elderly people in need (+65)
  • The food bank of Madrid shared its “Street and Avenue sponsorship program” which encourages private partners to sponsor a ‘street’ or ‘avenue’ in the warehouse in exchange for a contribution to cover operating costs.
  • Several large retailers, of which one is Lidl, in the Netherlands offer their customer the opportunity to donate the money received from returned recyclable bottles to the Dutch Federation.
  • “The paper for food” is the fundraising campaign launched by the Portuguese Federation. The food banks collaborate with a local waste operator who then donates food in return for the recycled paper the food bank has gathered on their premises from partner charities, schools and individuals.

Volunteering at food banks - good for society and the CV

After various fruitful presentations and discussions on the sustainability of food banks, fundraising and partnerships, the participants of the convention paid a guided visit to the Dordrecht Food Bank (NL). Here they were welcomed by a driven young volunteer, who spoke about his dedication to the food bank and the growing amount of young volunteers who also find it important to show solidarity with the local people in need.

The FEBA 2017 convention in Rotterdam was once again a success, giving many participants food for thought, and new ideas to improve their impact as a food bank. As expressed by the food bank of Ukraine: "This was the best FEBA convention I have participated in, please consider it the "best-practice" for future conventions".

We are very grateful to the volunteers from the Dutch Federation, for their perfect logistical organization of the convention.

 

taidupankThe success story of the Estonian food bank

We had two presentations by food banks, the Polish Federation and the Estonian food bank. The most recent of the two banks, The Estonian Food Bank, was founded in 2010, and it was therefore a pleasure to learn that the bank now supports 9500 beneficiaries with food per week, through the work of 250 volunteers! The food bank distributes over 60% of the food directly to its beneficiaries, since the country has few NGOs. The bank has also been successful in communicating their mission to the public and is now one of the most well-known and recognized charity organizations in the country, surpassing Unicef and the Red Cross. Despite the many successes of the Estonian food bank, there are still obstacles to be lifted in order to enhance the amount of collected food and its distribution. Like many other new food banks, a lack of funding for proper warehouses and equipment is a daily challenge. Furthermore, there are still no tax incentives to encourage more food donation from large retailers or food producers.

Thank you to the founder and director of the Estonian Food Bank, for his important contribution to reducing hunger and waste in Estonia.