The Tafel food banks and food pantries help people in need all over Germany with donated food and social projects. The over 1.6 million Tafel beneficiaries include, for example, people living in poverty, those affected by loneliness or single parents with low incomes – all groups who have already been particularly hard hit by the corona crisis. More and more Tafels are now changing their operations so that they can still help despite Corona, for example by taking additional hygiene measures, by modifying the spaces used to pass out food, or by organizing grocery delivery the beneficiaries’ homes.
There are usually more than 60,000 Tafel helpers at over 2,000 locations in Germany. They save food that can no longer be sold in stores, such as fruit and vegetables with minor blemishes or yogurt shortly before the best before date. They use this food to help people who could only dream of having huge stockpiles and surpluses. By doing so, the Tafels strive to create a balance between abundance and lack. In addition, most locations also organize targeted social projects such as tutoring, counseling or classes on budget conscious, healthy cooking.
Because of the Corona crisis, many Tafel branches have had to reduce or suspend operations to protect their volunteers, 90% of whom belong to a risk group due to their age. In addition, the excessive consumer stockpiling in many places led to a drop in the quantities of goods that supermarkets could donate. The effects have varied. While the Tafel in Hanover had to close completely, Nuremberg was able to maintain operations by implementing strict hygiene rules. A food pantry in Frankfurt am Main hat to move into rooms that are more spacious to continue passing out groceries, and the Berliner Tafel has completely switched to home delivery.
More and more Tafels are able to re-open thanks to the many young people who stepped in to volunteers and thanks to the donors who enabled us to react quickly.
More than 300 local Tafel locations are still closed, while others have only been able to implement temporary emergency solutions. Because of the Corona crisis, a dramatic increase in the number of people who rely on Tafel for support is expected. With your help, the Tafel food banks and pantries will also be there for these people in the future.
Please help however you can!
The aid and needs described here are just examples of what is needed locally.