Status: 01/05/2022 11:56
Too many requests, too few donations: food banks are calling on politicians to provide significant relief for people affected by poverty. You cannot provide for everyone in need.
Politicians should take more decisive action against poverty, demanded the chairman of the board of directors, Jochen Brühl. The panels in Germany alone “could not withstand this pressure”, Brühl told the newspapers of the Funke media group. The reason for the apparent urgency is a growing demand for food with declining donations.
Specifically, Brühl called for improvements to relief programs. “One-off payments of a few hundred euros are not enough and come too late,” he criticized. Instead, there is to be an increase in standard Harz IV rates and “significant relief for low-income people”.
“Not part of the welfare state system”
Brühl appealed to the federal government and the municipalities: “Tafeln is not part of the welfare state system. We help on a voluntary basis and to the best of our ability, but it has never been in the Tafel’s idea to provide reliable services and binding care for all people affected by poverty,” Brühl said.According to its own statements, the umbrella organization represents around 950 food banks throughout Germany.
“The situation in food banks is more tense than ever,” Brühl said. Volunteers “sometimes work non-stop and find it stressful not being able to help people because there is no more food to pass on”. Some food banks have already had to limit their offerings. In Saarbrücken, for example, admissions have been frozen for months.
Increase in demand since December
More and more people are suffering from high food prices. According to the Federal Statistical Office, inflation is 7.3%. For some products such as sunflower oil, tomatoes and rye flour, prices have risen by at least a fifth. It also increases food bank inquiries.
Since December, more and more people have been getting their supplies from Tafel. Another wave came in February due to the sharp rise in energy prices, and since mid-March there have also been families fleeing the war in Ukraine. “All of this comes up against a food shortage situation,” said Sabine Altmeyer-Baumann, chairwoman of the Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland food banks.
In addition, Tafels throughout Germany are struggling with rising operating costs. Product cooling and travel costs become more and more expensive as transport distances increase.
16% of the population is considered poor
According to a study by the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband from the end of 2021, the poverty rate in Germany reached an all-time high during the corona pandemic. 16.1% of the population – the equivalent of 13.4 million people – should be counted among the poor, according to the report entitled “Poverty in the pandemic”.