Tafeln in the crisis: "We send people home every week"
Created: 09/28/2022, 15:14
By: Moritz Serif
In the Loaf and Soul dispensary in Berlin, a volunteer Tafel employee distributes salad.
© Christophe Gateau/dpa
Inflation and rising energy prices as a result of the Ukraine war are affecting the panels.
More and more people are coming.
Food is scarce.
Berlin - More and more people are dependent on the help of the Tafel - although the aid organization is increasingly reaching its limits.
"The situation is extremely tense for all the food banks," said a spokeswoman for the umbrella organization Tafel Deutschland.
"We send people home every week," the Potsdam facility recently reported in view of the increased rush.
The background is the war in Ukraine and rising prices.
"There are also more people who have a job."
Around 960 food banks nationwide distribute food that can no longer be sold to the needy.
The umbrella organization now speaks of well over two million customers, more than ever before.
The DIW asked the participants in its Socio-Economic Panel 2020 survey series whether anyone from their household was at a table in the previous year.
It comes to almost 1.1 million people who benefited from the offers.
Panels: High inflation has an impact
"Of course, the currently high inflation also has an effect on the table visitors," explained DIW researcher Markus Grabka on the current situation.
High energy advance payments also drew people with not exactly low incomes into the facilities.
In addition, there are many refugees from Ukraine.
At the same time, supply becomes difficult because the grocery stores waste less food that would otherwise have gone to the banks.
Examples are “rescued food” offers on store shelves.
According to information from the panels, the number of visitors nationwide has risen by about half since the beginning of the year.
More and more people have to go to the table
In Berlin, where many Ukrainian refugees also arrive first, it is even more.
At the beginning of the year, around 40,000 people came to the 47 Berlin food banks, now there are well over 70,000, as director Antje Trölsch said.
Many of them fled Ukraine before the war.
In addition, there are Germans who can no longer cope with the sharp price increases.
"People who somehow made it before are now coming to us."
Three quarters of the people who used Tafel in 2019 lived on basic security, as the DIW found out.
Many are at risk of poverty and have health problems.
Single parents and couples with children use the boards particularly frequently.
A quarter of the people who benefited from the panels are children.
Meanwhile, it is unclear how long the panels will last.
Closures are also possible.