On 9 October 2020 FEBA organized a virtual skill-sharing session on “Food Collections at the time of COVID-19”.
The online meeting was open to FEBA membership to take stock of the state of Food Collections in Europe and share the experience of some members, in particular Wiener Tafel in Austria, FoodCloud in Ireland, FareShare in the UK, and Toidupank in Estonia, that have recently organized a Food Collection in their country.
Every year, especially at the end of November-early December, many FEBA members organize a national Food Collection in collaboration with retailers. In this occasion citizens are invited to make a gesture of solidarity donating food to Food Banks.
Food Collections are only made possible by the collaboration of thousands of supermarkets and retailers and the mobilization of thousands of volunteers and millions of citizens.
This year the situation is completely different from last year. Today, European Food Banks are up and running: they are carrying out their activity while they are managing double amounts of food and experiencing a growing food demand of 30% at European level, with a range going from 6% to 80%. At the same time, this traditional activity is experiencing some adjustments to be in line with the current pandemic situation and the restrictions in place in the different countries.
During the session, Food Bank representatives from 21 countries and officials from the European Commission had the opportunity to discuss the topic of Food Collections during these challenging times. Learning from the experiences of Wiener Tafel, FoodCloud, FareShare and Toidupank, the participants had the opportunity to take ideas and to tell their personal experience.
This skill-sharing session was thus a precious opportunity to exchange practices, sharing challenges and suggestions, going beyond traditional Food Collections, and looking for a more comprehensive and innovative cooperation between Food Banks, retailers, and donors.
To keep track of all the Food Collections organized or being planned by its members, FEBA created a specific web page which is constantly updated.