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As people don’t live on food only, let’s talk about social inclusion! (Olsztyn - Poland, June 12 and 13, 2015)

The annual meeting of the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA) will take place in Olsztyn (Poland) on June, 12th and 13th, 2015.

Organized in collaboration with the Polish Federation of Food Banks and the Olsztyn Food Bank, the convention will focus this year on the role of food and of Food Banks in the process of social inclusion of deprived people. Indeed, food assistance beyond providing basic material support to people experiencing poverty is often the first point of contact with a person or a family. The continued distribution of food by volunteers and employees allows the development of strong relationships which will then favour the process of reinsertion deprived people into society. Food Banks have a role to play in the process either directly by providing volunteer or paid activities, education and training to less favoured people or indirectly by supporting charities or social enterprises whose main activity is social inclusion. Experience and best practices will be reviewed and assessed during various workshops by the 67 delegates from 22 countries.

Almost 30 years of solidarity

FEBA member Food Banks have been fighting food poverty and food waste for about 30 years contributing to give each person in Europe access to a sufficient and balanced diet. In 2014, 411 000 tons of food, equivalent to 2,25 million meals a day, have been distributed to 33 800 partner charitable organizations which support 5,9 million people, thanks to the hard work of 14 500 people among whom 90% are volunteers.

Everything began on March 13th 1984, when Sister Cécile Bigot denounced the scandal of poverty coexisting with food waste in an article entitled “I am hungry” published in the daily newspaper La Croix. Following this call for help, Bernard Dandrel and 5 founding organizations, Secours Catholique, Emmaüs, Armée du Salut, Entraide d’Auteuil and Entraide Protestante, launched the first Food Bank in France. Thirty years later, the European Federation of Food Banks is paying tribute to this initiative. 264 Food Banks in 22 European countries are currently in operation to support the charities which take care of poor people.