We live in a world that produces more food than ever, so why do nearly a billion people still not have enough to eat? The European Commission estimates that 90 million tons of food are wasted annually across Europe. This comes as an even more startling statistic given the poverty, malnutrition and social injustice that still features prevalently in our societies and where hunger is a reality for many.

Food banks and food redistribution strategies are just one measure that can be taken to prevent and reduce food waste, as well as initiatives in research and innovation, awareness and information, policy change and waste measurement. Food banks work to recover edible surplus food from growers, processors, shops and caterers, most of which would otherwise be wasted. They then transport, sort, and store products to be redistributed to partner civil society organisations which support people in need.

Many of our members work directly with food banks in distributing to those in need, striving for the same goals of defending social inclusion and fighting against poverty. Giving food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty is not only a fundamental Christian teaching of solidarity and compassion, but also represents a basic human right and a challenge to injustice.

Food banks demonstrate generosity and co-operation; however they coexist with the need to work for a world where food banks are not needed. Unfortunately though, hunger is not history. Therefore, institutions, member states, supermarkets, caterers, civil society organisations and food safety authorities all have a part to play in adopting measures to recover surplus food and prevent food waste through efficient measurement, redistribution and awareness raising activities.

Optimizing the work and aims of food banks across Europe, as many of our members continue to do in their daily work, gives genuine hope of real ways to support those in need and help people break the cycle of poverty, perhaps towards a world where food banks themselves become a thing of the past.

Have a nice weekend,