Globally 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted every single year. 20% of the total food produced in the European Union is wasted or lost along the supply chain.
- Food waste is a huge environmental problem, with 8% of GHGs produced as a result of this food rotting in landfill.
- In the EU 33 million people cannot afford a quality meal every second day.
Preventing food waste improves the resilience of the food supply chain, helps our planet, and contributes to food security. That is where Food Banks come in. Food businesses donate their surplus food to Food Banks, which, in turn, will get that perfectly good food to charities helping deprived people who can enjoy it. The world’s first Food Bank was created in 1967 in Phoenix, USA. Following this example, the first European Food Bank was established in 1984 Paris, France and the second one in 1986 Brussels, Belgium. In 1986, France and Belgium joined forces to create the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA). Over the past 35 years FEBA has been fostering the development and creation of Food Banks in countries across Europe.
In March FEBA launched the COVID-19 Social Emergency Fund to ensure the daily activity of members and have released 4 reports to highlight challenges, urgent needs, adaptation to change, and concrete responses. Members have worked to get surplus food from food business operators and ensure its safe delivery to charities helping +34.7% people in need compared to 2019.
Today, FEBA network brings together 430 Food Banks and branches in 29 European countries. Every day they recover safe and edible surplus food from the agri-food supply chain such as agriculture, food and drink manufacturers, distribution and food services. The food recovered is stored, sorted and re-packaged in the warehouses. Then, the food is redistributed to charitable organisations, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, social restaurants, and shelters. And from there, the food ends up on the plate of the people who need it most.
European Food Banks are supported by an army of volunteers. Their acts of kindness and commitment make a real difference.
Food donation is a beneficial solution to prevent food waste and reduce food insecurity: it is a business friendly, environmentally sensitive, and socially responsible alternative.
To learn more visit Reducing food insecurity and food waste – the European Food Banks Federation and watch the video About the European Food Banks Federation.