Food banks are non-profit organisations that redistribute food and related products donated by farmers, food suppliers, supermarkets etc. to charitable organisations or other non-profit organisations. The goods are normally housed in a warehouse ‘the food bank’ and redistributed to organisations through the use of a van. Food banks distribute goods such as canned groceries, fresh produce, frozen foods, bakery products, and some personal hygiene or household cleaning products.
There are 218 operational food banks in 17 countries in Europe. Last year 289,000 tons of food products with an estimated value of €610 million were distributed by 26,000 charities. On the island of Ireland there are two food banks: one in Dublin and one in Belfast.
Dublin Food Bank
The Dublin Food Bank was set up in 1989 by Crosscare to organise an effective redistribution of surplus goods donated by wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers. Leading companies donate regular supplies of fresh food, cereals, frozen food, soft drinks and domestic cleaning materials. These products are stored in a modern purpose built warehouse with chill and deep freeze facilities. The Food Bank also engages with the Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to distribute surplus supplies under the European Scheme PEAD. More than 30 voluntary organizations utilize the service for the provision of meals or family support. The Food Bank is managed by three full time and two part-time staff, and is backed up by volunteers who work on a daily roster basis. The well-known Food Bank van can be seen five days a week in the Dublin area collecting for the Bank. The Food Bank is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 4pm. In 2007 the food bank collected over 670 tons of food and grocery products and stored these for redistribution to the charities that come to the bank.
For more information on the Dublin food bank contact Neil Dwane at +353 (0)1 836 0011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
European Food Banks
The food banks in Europe have formed a federation of food banks to promote the ideals that access to food is a social right and the destruction of food is unnecessary. For more information on the European Food Banks please email: email@example.com or check out their website: http://www.eurofoodbank.org/