June 17, 2024
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Germany’s over 900 food banks, overseen by the charitable organization Tafel e.V., support anyone who can prove they’re facing financial hardship. But fewer and fewer companies are donating to these food banks, although demand is growing amid high inflation and the influx of Ukrainian refugees. That’s why food banks are now calling on the German state for help.

Denise Lauer is making her first visit to a food bank. For a long time, she was too reluctant and ashamed to go. “I wanted to try it out,” she told DW. “But in the past, I was too embarrassed.”

Additionally, The growing need for food aid is clearly evident in Berlin’s Köpenick district, where the fan center for Bundesliga team FC Union Berlin has been converted into a grocery distribution point. A line of people is standing outside in the blistering heat, waiting to enter. It’s 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), and there’s no shade in sight.

Lauer, a single parent with a son, said “it has become increasingly difficult to make ends meet because of the high food costs.” Today, though, she has gathered all her courage and is looking forward to taking home a basket of groceries sold for just €1.50 ($1.70)—the same price for everyone.

However, Volunteers sort through and organize food donations. At the center, volunteers sort and organize food donations. Image: Volker Witting/DW
Food costs have risen by almost 15% compared to last year, with inflation standing at 7.3%, according to Germany’s Federal Statistical Office.

In conclusion, this means money is tight, which is why they are relying on food banks to get by. Since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, 20% of German food banks have seen the number of people dependent on discounted groceries double, reports Tafel’s federal association.

written by @enock katamba

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