French Food Banks are mobilised in welcoming Ukrainian refugees

The network of Food Banks in France has been mobilized since the beginning of the war in Ukraine to help meet the basic needs of refugees, both in France and in neighbouring countries.

At European level, the Fédération Française des Banques Alimentaires, together with the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA), is coordinating emergency assistance to Ukraine’s borders.

This mobilization is expressed by financial donations through a platform in connection with FEBA #AllTogether4Ukraine campaign and by donations of products.

Fifteen trucks have already left from the network of Food Banks to the most impacted countries, notably from Brittany and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes to Poland (250 pallets were already sent).

In France, in partnership with our 6,000 partner associations and in cooperation with the Prefectures and Local Authorities, the Food Banks are participating in the welcoming of 30,000 refugees to date on French territory, providing food aid, and hygiene or medical products. Arrivals are concentrated in Ile-de-France, in the Grand Est region in particular in Strasbourg, and in PACA in particular in Nice. 60% of the people welcomed in Ile-de-France are in transit to Spain, Portugal, and England. Special attention is being paid to children and unaccompanied minors. To continue to meet the needs of refugees and to anticipate the impact of inflation on precariousness in France, the Food Banks are increasing their distribution capacity and developing their partner association network.

Some 30 departments are particularly involved. For example in Burgundy, the Food Bank provides emergency food packages to the shelters. The products offered are dry, essential products but the structures can also benefit from fruits and vegetables. In Besançon, breakfasts, drinks, preserves and prepared meals are provided by the Food Bank of Franche-Comté to associations that express the need. In Lyon, 100 people are welcomed in a gymnasium, 80% of whom are children, supported by the local Food Bank.

At the request of the Fédération Française des Banques Alimentaires, the French government has granted the “fungibility” of the FEAD, the right to deliver FEAD products, in the following cases:

  • to associations “supporting Ukraine”, not partners of Food Banks and not authorised with the signature of the simplified convention including the FEAD guidelines.
  • to Food Bank partner associations but not eligible for FEAD (accommodation centre, social restaurants, etc.) outside Social Epiceries that are not intended to provide emergency assistance.

Beyond the legitimate emotion linked to the war, the action of the French Food Banks is therefore pragmatic and long term, in response to the needs on the ground and by providing logistical solutions. It is also a question of anticipating the impact on precariousness in France due to the food inflation announced in the country, as food is the third largest item of household expenditure.

Sources, see article here and here.

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