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Coronavirus: Belgian supermarkets donate 460,000 meals to Food Banks

 30-03-2020

Belgian supermarkets will donate 460,000 meals to Food Banks in the coming days. The Minister for the Fight against Poverty Nathalie Muylle (CD&V), the boss of Comeos Dominique Michel and the General Director of the Belgian Federation of Food Banks Jozef Mottar were present Friday to unload one of the first trucks.

In normal times, supermarkets sometimes end up with food surpluses which they distribute to Food Banks or other social organizations. However, with the coronavirus health crisis and the rush to supermarkets, these surpluses are almost no longer available, which has consequences on people in need.

Food Banks handle 18,000 tonnes of food or more than 30 million meals each year.

In the coming days, all Belgian supermarkets without exception will give 233 tonnes of food or 460,000 meals to Belgian Food Banks. "This includes pasta but also milk, potatoes, meat, flour, olive oil, vegetables, drinks, chocolate and cereals," says Comeos. "Other essential products are also included in the 233-ton batch, such as detergents, shampoo, diapers and handkerchiefs." Supermarkets even say they are ready to repeat this great action if necessary in the coming months.

"Today, as a federal government, we have also given € 225,000 to Food Banks to buy additional products they need, but whose supplies are dwindling," said Minister Muylle. "It was also decided to set up an IT platform so that all Food Banks can communicate correctly on stocks and shortages. And three million euros have been made available to the CPAS (Centre Public d’Action Sociale) to be able to use them for purchases food and food checks" she said.

For its part, the Panos brand, which has had to temporarily close many of its stores. The brand announced that it will make additional donations to Food Banks. Indeed, due to the coronavirus pandemic, "a large part of the fresh produce reserves remains unused," says Panos. This week, a delivery, with a total weight of nearly 1,000 kilograms, was given by the brand, which plans a larger donation next week. "Normally, we make at least one donation per month. Currently, we are looking at what is possible from week to week in order to manage our stock as efficiently as possible and without wasting food", underlines Karl Selleslags , Managing Director of Panos.

Source : www.rtbf.be

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