Toidupank traditionally organizes food collections twice a year (December and April). But this year, due to the emergency, from 12 March to 1 May all public gatherings were prohibited so they cancelled the food collection in April. And they decided to organize it in September in coordination with Estonian Health Board, involving 49 stores and 15 Food Banks.
Even if they engaged volunteers of all ages (included children), they did not ask schools to participate as usual.
The decision of organizing a food collection was pushed by the necessity to increase food stocks.
In coordination with Estonian Health Board they tried to minimize the risk of their volunteers getting infected by providing gloves, masks and disinfectants, practicing physical distancing between donators and volunteers and decreasing the number of stores (but increasing the engagement with various organisations for volunteer recruitment).
The overall feedback was positive with 22,400 kilos of food collected (10.000 less than usually).
Toidupank is organizing a winter edition of the food collection on 11 and 12 December. 56 grocery stores across Estonia will participate. 800 volunteers are expected to help during this food collection. They will distribute flyers, accept food donations in stores and prepare the transport to local Food Banks.
The safety of volunteers is very important and will be ensured thanks to protective equipment.