20 percent more pensioners: The boards are reaching their limits

              Saturday, December 7, 2019

              More and more people in Germany depend on food donations. Especially the number of older Tafel customers is increasing dramatically. Also busy infrastructure, lack of staff and lack of support make the aid organizations to create.
              Around 1.65 million people supply themselves with food at one of the 940 bars in Germany – ten percent more than last year. The demand for older people is particularly high. "The number of pensioners among table customers has increased within a year by 20 percent to 430,000," said the chairman of the Federal Association of panels, Jochen Brühl, the "New Osnabrücker Zeitung". It takes a lot of energy to hide poverty, said Brühl. This power would often no longer exist for the elderly – "and then come to us". However, many panels had also launched special offers for the elderly, such as seniors afternoons. This may have lowered the inhibition threshold and incidentally it is also a contribution against Altersseinsamkeit.Brühl does not assume that the currently discussed Grundrente will solve problems in principle. An effective fight against old-age poverty begins in the working life – or even earlier. "Among our customers are also 500,000 children and adolescents." At the same time, the head of the association critically assessed demands for higher food prices that are adequate for farmers. "Simply asking for higher food prices is too easy, which would increase the number of customers with the tablets." Although the concerns of farmers and parts of the policy is understandable. But: "Even people who have little need to be able to eat healthily." Brühl called for more political support. "Up to now, our warehouses and refrigerated vehicles are exclusively donated and we are reaching capacity limits." To do even more, it would be necessary to increase it. Instead, nobody wants to give us the money, instead we are being fed off the shoulders of politicians. "Supermarkets are throwing away too many foodstuffsIn the last two years alone, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the food banks have received up to 40 percent more food donations, Brühl said , But the infrastructure of the tables of the country was busy, the camps were too small. "More food could be saved if our logistics center in Neubrandenburg had more capacity." The goods surpluses are huge. The Tafel in Rostock alone, with its 16 dispensaries, claims to have a daily turnover of up to eight tons of food, of which up to three tons are sorted out and, for example, forwarded to farmers for feeding their animals. Nevertheless, head Beate Kopka believes that the supermarkets threw away too many foods. The board will only get a fraction of the excess food. There are constantly bottlenecks in meat, sausage and dairy products. On average, around 2500 people would be supported by the blackboard in the Hanseatic city. Kopka estimates that it could be twice as many if more money were available. The panels suffer from a shortage of labor.Brühl speaks rather of support than care by his organization. "Tables are not full providers where people can shop normally, we see ourselves as a complementary offer and can only distribute what's left." The biggest challenge is finding volunteers. Because food rescue is a fast business, says Bruhl. "Drivers for the boards must be very reliable and are often several hours in a row from the early morning hours to collect food." An important support for the boards in the country are therefore federal volunteers, so-called Bufdis. An improvement in staff shortages could bring the Federal Ministry of Labor program to reduce long-term unemployment. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the panels are not supported by public funds from the state. "The purchase of refrigerated vehicles are classic tasks of sponsoring or special pots." The provision of storage capacity is the responsibility of municipalities in the context of municipal social planning, "says the spokesman for the Ministry of Social Affairs, Alexander Kujat.

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