Status: 02.12.2023, 14:45 PM
By: Dorit Caspary
Strong together: Helpers and guests at the Münchner Tafel have more in common than just the supply of food. © Marcus Schlaf
Together for the people of Munich. That's the goal of this year's fundraiser. Together with the Münchner Tafel, we would like to support people in need here on site, in our city.
According to the latest poverty report, more than a quarter of a million Munich residents are poor. 107,000 receive state aid and 20,000 of them come to the Münchner Tafel every week to make ends meet. To ensure that all these Munich residents can continue to be cared for, we would like to help each other. That is why the coming week is all about helping the poorest among us. We show how the Münchner Tafel works, what it has meant here for 29 years, that poverty can affect everyone and why your donations, dear readers, are so urgently needed.
How to donate
With your donation - no matter how small - you support the tz aid campaign "Together for Munichers" for the benefit of the Münchner Tafel. The proceeds go exclusively to people who are dependent on help in our city despite all their own efforts. Together with our partners and you, dear readers, we would like to help right on our doorstep this year. With 78 euros, the Münchner Tafel can provide a guest with food for a year. "We are grateful for every single euro," says Hannelore Kiethe, head of the Münchner Tafel.
Would you like to donate by bank transfer?
Then you will find a transfer slip for the aid campaign "Together for Munichers" in your tz on 14 December. If you are using your own transfer form, please indicate Münchner Tafel as the recipient and be sure to include "Together for Munich residents" as the keyword. For donations up to 100 euros, the payment receipt is valid as a receipt for the tax office. For larger amounts, you will receive a donation receipt directly from the Münchner Tafel. Please be sure to enter your name and address in the Usage Badge field so that the donation receipt can be sent to you.
The donation account:
Münchner Tafel e.V.
IBAN: DE37 7002 0270 6850 1933 10
Would you like to donate directly online?
On the www.muenchner-tafel.de website there is a direct link to the account of the Münchner Tafel.
At Münchner Tafel, togetherness means much more than a cooperation of employees, volunteers, sponsors, patrons and partners. But also a togetherness with the table guests. Most helpers know the name of every single guest registered at their dispensary. And many guests feel the same way, they know who is giving them potatoes, who is waiting for fresh fruit and who is waiting for the dairy products. For our campaign poster, helpers and guests met. For a representative togetherness for the entire Münchner Tafel.
One of the guests at the table is Klaus-Dieter Look. He has been coming to the food bank at the Grossmarkthalle for more than ten years. The 63-year-old looks forward to Fridays every week. He doesn't care if it's his turn first or last. The Münchner Tafel has a rotating system so that everyone has a large selection or fills their shopping bag at the very end. "Every helper tries to ensure that we guests are treated with appreciation. You don't have that very often when you're poor," says Klaus Look. This can be seen, among other things, in the fact that a volunteer helper puts two bananas back for him. "She knows that I like them so much and not any other fruit. I'm really touched every time she says, 'Klaus-Dieter, there are your bananas.'"
Many diners use the queue for a chat, and the exchange is also important for Klaus-Dieter Look. © Marcus Schlaf
Klaus-Dieter Look has experienced a lot. Especially during his time as a long-distance truck driver across Europe. More than 20 years behind the wheel between Italy and Scandinavia. Then the native of the Ruhr region fell ill. COPD – a lung disease that has no cure. "At the age of 50, I had to take early retirement. That's when I thought, go on short trips, so I can make myself useful at the food bank and help out there as a driver," says the 63-year-old. Even then, Klaus-Dieter Look lived on just 1000 euros. He didn't have it in his plan that he would become a dinner guest himself. "I am grateful every day that it has come to this and that I have had the opportunity to come to the food bank as a guest for more than ten years now."
You can't help more directly than with the food bank
The Sendlinger knows that without the food from the food bank, he would have to budget much more strictly. That the piece of meat that he only buys from time to time wouldn't be in it otherwise. Just as important to him as the weekly savings on shopping is the togetherness at the point of distribution. "All the helpers put so much effort into the guests. They have a sympathetic ear, they know when I'm not feeling so well." The Tafeltag is also a communication day for Klaus-Dieter. He is especially looking forward to seeing his buddy Peter, who has the issue number after him. "Over the years, relationships develop, you know each other, you respect each other."
Philip Below distributes bread to the guests at the table every Tuesday. © Marcus Schlaf
For more than four years, Monika Leger has been volunteering at the distribution point at the Grossmarkthalle every Monday. At the fair for volunteers, she got to know the Münchner Tafel. And he's been there ever since. "A lot of people say, it's great what you're doing for others, but I'm actually doing something good for myself. I look forward to the fellowship and togetherness every week. We don't talk about illnesses, as is so often the case at coffee parties at my age, but we lend a hand and have an open ear for our guests," explains the 74-year-old. "And that gives me so much." Her colleague Philip Below agrees. "There is hardly a more direct way to help. You put the help directly into the hands of the guests at the table." Before he finally became active for the food bank, the 40-year-old tried out various other ways of social commitment. In the case of neighbourhood help, for example. In the end, however, he got stuck with the Münchner Tafel. "For me personally, everything fits here."
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It is often difficult for diners to be shown in the newspaper with their name and photo as poor. Klaus-Dieter Look didn't hesitate for a minute. He has made his peace with his life. He is even a bit proud to be part of the Tafel family. "And now to be able to say thank you here, to all the volunteers and also the permanent employees of the Münchner Tafel, that's an opportunity that you don't get so often as a guest. Dear tz readers, I can say from my own experience how infinitely valuable the work of all these people, sponsors and supporters is and that it would not be possible without your donations. Therefore: Please also help, your donation arrives exactly where it is urgently needed in Munich."
Child poverty is on the rise: an increase of almost ten percent among minors
Poverty can affect anyone. The employees and helpers of the Münchner Tafel experience this every day anew. And the waiting list of people who would have an ID card for one of the 28 dispensaries is getting longer and longer. According to the latest poverty report, the income of one in six Munich residents is below the poverty threshold. In Munich, this is currently 1540 euros net for a one-person household. Single parents, families with three or more children, and people with disabilities and chronic illnesses are particularly affected by poverty. There has been an increase not only in the number of elderly people living in poverty, but above all in the number of children who are affected. According to the latest figures from the Munich Department of Social Affairs, the number of minors in poverty has risen by 2022.9 percent in the past three years (to December 2). Here, it is mainly the children of single parents who are in need.
Basically, Munich has a greater unequal distribution of income than in the rest of the Free State and Germany, according to the social department. Translated: The gap between rich and poor is widening in Munich.