FEBA joined the Roundtable Discussion on Food Aid & Cost-of-Living Crisis on 13/04

On 13 April 2023, Eurodiaconia and the Red Cross EU Office co-organised a roundtable on the topic of food aid in the context of the cost-of-living crisis that brought together speakers from the non-profit sector, among them FEBA, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. The latter has been represented by Ms Ivankovic-Knezevic (Director Social Rights and Inclusion, DG EMPL).

The first panel focused on input from actors working “on the ground” to tackle food insecurity and promote social inclusion, with Veronika Láchová, CEO of Česká Federace Potravinových Bank elaborating on the impact of the Ukrainian refugee influx on the Czech Federation of Food Banks as well as their experience with the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD). In order to be able to cope with increasing food demand, she called for more flexibility in implementing the EU funding mechanisms in times of crisis.

For a broader perspective, the second panel focussed on the challenges faced by organisations involved in material support provision across Europe. It offered FEBA the possibility to share recent insights on the impact of the socio-economic crisis on the operations of Food Banks belonging to its network.

The conclusion was unanimous: whilst the need for food assistance is on the rise, non-profit organisations are struggling to scale up their operations simultaneously. While state support is needed, Member States must take action to tackle poverty and material deprivation at their roots. Moreover, it has been highlighted by the different speakers that food insecurity is becoming widespread in new categories of the population, especially among people in employment or retirees.

Therefore, enhanced cooperation with national Managing Authorities, including the flexible use of European funds, was evoked as a useful tool towards improving the well-being of people in need, particularly in times of crisis. Read more here.