Brandenburg’s food banks are expecting more and more people: “We send people home every week”

In view of the energy crisis and rising prices, the Tafel expect that they will have to provide more and more people with food donations in the coming months. In Brandenburg, a political debate has flared up again as to whether the voluntary organizations should also receive more state funding.

The Ministry of Social Affairs announced that quick additional support for the food banks would be prepared. The department has not yet been able to provide any information on the amount, as consultations are still pending. The food banks are usually financed primarily through donations and membership fees.

“It’s about time that the food banks received more support,” said the Potsdam food bank manager Imke Georgiew of the dpa. “With a warm handshake and to say, nice that you exist, it’s no longer enough.”

The issuing office of the Potsdamer Tafel on Drewitzer Straße.
The issuing office of the Potsdamer Tafel on Drewitzer Straße.
© Andreas Klaer

Due to the inflation, a monthly increase in customers at the Tafel in Brandenburg has been noticeable since March, the state association said. Facilities also have to bear increased fuel costs, for example for vans and refrigerated trucks, and there is a risk of sharply rising energy costs at the end of the year.

People have been queuing at the Potsdamer Tafel for a long time. Many of her customers said they couldn’t make ends meet without these foods, Georgiev said. There is a freeze on admissions to the facility, which supports around 1,700 people a week. “We send people home every week,” Georgiev said. Some other boards are also no longer accepting new registrations.

With a warm handshake and to say, nice that you exist, it is no longer enough.

Imke Georgiew, head of the Potsdamer Tafel

The Potsdamer Tafel boss is now considering, among other things, no longer handing out food once a week as before for a certain period of time as winter aid, but in the future every two weeks. In this way, more people can be helped overall as a sign of solidarity. Other panels also reported a drop in food donations.

Minister of Social Affairs against fixed state funding of the Tafel work

There are more than 40 food banks in Brandenburg and Berlin, they are organized in a joint state association. So far, the state government has supported the facilities with lottery funds, for example when buying refrigerated vehicles. There is now also talk of emergency aid.

Social Affairs Minister Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens) does not advocate fixed state funding for the Tafel work, which has sometimes been demanded. “The central instrument of our welfare state to combat poverty is the standard rate. This must reliably protect the fundamentally protected, humane subsistence level, regardless of whether a panel is within reach or not,” the ministry said.

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