Autumn Food Collection Gathers 520 Tonnes, More Than Spring But Down From Last Year
The number of those living in deprivation has risen sharply, by 35% year-on-year. Photo credit: Freepik.
Prague, Nov 13 (CTK) – The autumn food collection, which took place in some 1,400 shops across the Czech Republic on Saturday, gathered 520 tonnes of food, drugstore and hygiene products, 89 tonnes more than at the similar event in the spring, according to Veronika Lachova, director of the Czech Federation of Food Banks, who announced it yesterday.
The total is less than one year ago, when volunteers collected 580 tonnes, but higher than the 431 tonnes gathered in spring this year.
The collected items will go to the food banks’ storage facilities to be gradually distributed to lonely seniors, single parents, families in financial deprivation, and other people in need.
According to the food banks federation, the number of those living in deprivation has risen sharply, by 35% year-on-year, due to the recent coronavirus crisis followed by soaring inflation and a sharp rise in the prices of essential items.
Before the autumn collection on Saturday, Lachova said that given the rising prices, she would consider it a big success if 400 tonnes of food were collected.
“Czech people tend to seek ways to save money, and they make an increasing use of discount sales. Retail chains, too, prefer donating foods with discount prices, and consequently the amount of donated food [in food banks], mainly long-life foods, is about one third lower than at the beginning of the year. Some 600 tonnes of food are lacking in food banks across the country,” Lachova said.
The food collection has taken place twice a year, in spring and in autumn, since 2019. The latest round was joined by all big retail chains, including Albert, Billa, COOP, Globus, Kaufland, Lidl, Makro, Penny Market, and Tesco, and drugstore chains DM and Rossmann. They gathered 468 tonnes of food, from which up to 936,000 meals can be prepared.
The collection also gathered 52 tonnes of drugstore goods.
Goods can still be donated online until 22 November, through online shopping on Kosik.cz, Rohlik.cz and iTesco.cz.
The organisers are mainly interested in canned food, baby food, instant soups, long-life milk, oil, rice, legumes, pasta and essential drugstore items.
Some 270,000 people in the Czech Republic have needed the aid of a food bank at least once so far this year, which is 70,000 more than in the whole of 2021.
Apart from collections and sponsors’ gifts, the food banks receive unused goods from retail chains, agriculture, and the food processing industry throughout the year for free.