High costs for food and heating: Food banks are expecting more visitors

BERLIN (dpa-AFX) – In view of rising food and energy costs, the food banks in Germany expect increased demand in the coming months. At the same time, the chairman of Tafel Deutschland, Jochen Brühl, called on the federal government to help people affected by poverty with special payments at short notice. “More people are already coming to some of the food banks,” said Brühl of the German press agency. Fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables are currently particularly popular, “because many people simply cannot afford a balanced diet,” said Brühl. “Rising food prices are exacerbating this problem.”

Brühl has clear expectations of the new federal government: “Regardless of whether we call it Bürgergeld or Hartz IV in the future – it is clear that the standard rates will have to rise significantly, as will the minimum wage.” Society cannot afford that millions of people do not participate in it and that children have little chance of escaping a life of poverty. “The food banks shouldn’t be used as a means of subsistence, but rather as a means of giving poor people financial leeway,” he said.

According to the latest figures from the food banks from May 2021, almost 40 percent of the food banks reported more people at the issuing points. Above all, the proportion of people on short-time work, recipients of unemployment benefit II and the self-employed have increased. Many older people, on the other hand, are currently staying at home again. According to the information, many families continue to come to the food banks – the proportion of children and young people is very high. However, around every fifth table has fewer customers. “Some customers have not come back since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Brühl. “That worries us because we know they need the support.”

Some helpers who paused their commitment at the beginning of the year for fear of corona infection have come back, he said. Others, on the other hand, are still unsettled and have not yet returned. The new output models with a distance and little contact have meanwhile been tried, according to Brühl. However, the new concepts also meant more work and additional costs that had to be met. The winter and the current pandemic situation with the spread of the Omikron variant would again present the helpers with new challenges./dav/DP/he

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