All posts by FoodBankAlbania

January – June 2017 Review

Dear friends, we are happy to bring you the latest news from the Food Bank. Read the updates below on our work to fight food waste and hunger in Albania.

First of all, we have been able to reach many more businesses this year by our online campaign. We have had more donations and have made more friends than ever before.

Also, more food is being distributed to soup kitchens, allowing us to feed many children and adults. It is good to provide basic food such as rice or pasta. However, eating the same food product almost every day may not allow the correct nutritional balance for everyone. This is why we decided to provide the funding for nutritious food for one of these soup kitchens which feeds about 150 children every week. This food will have all the calories that a child needs to thrive every day.

We have also reached agreements with two other NGOs focusing on women in need, such as lone mothers, orphan mothers and women in risk of trafficking. As we continue our selection process of applicant NGOs, we feel the Food Bank can reach even further, to those who are in need the most in Albania. We understand that poverty is everywhere but our goal is to provide for the poorest, those who have less hope and are in remote areas.

On the other hand, we have had a few setbacks too. Despite our continuous efforts for passing changes in the taxes regime for donations, it hasn’t happened yet. The recent changes in the Albanian government and the last month’s elections have made it impossible for the law to be implemented as of yet. We are blessed with our partners, the Embassy of the Netherlands and Pricewaterhouse Coopers who are helping us by drafting and submitting the changes required and providing the right connections and meetings. We remain very hopeful that in Autumn we will see a breakthrough in these efforts.

 

Our first, and so far, most important project, the schools’ project is being redesigned now to include other teaching material, food preserving techniques, and more visuals. We believe that the fight against food waste can be won by education first and foremost. We have see that more than 90% of school children are not taught about the environmental aspect of food waste and how easy it is to avoid it. This is why we are stepping up in our focus this year to reach more students than ever before.

 

We said goodbye to Adrian, our U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who tirelessly worked with us during the past year and a half. At the same time, we have been able to improve our cooperation with U.S. Peace Corps during this time, who have supported us by increasing our capacity as well as in our efforts to be represented in other cities of Albania where we currently don’t have activity yet.

If you are one of our volunteers, we would like to thank you for your commitment and energy. Even only 4 hours of your time equals to about 30 kg of food collection, enough food for a small family for a week. Thank you for being part of our journey.

Finally, please make sure you subscribe at our webpage to get our newsletter.

 

Year in Review 2016

During the course of 2016, the food bank worked to expand its reach by continuing programs that were successful in 2015. The most exciting news from 2016 is that the food bank has dramatically increased the amount of food raised. In 2016, the food bank raised over 57 tons of food; tripling the total from 2015.

Responding to 50 Families affected by Hunger and Flooding with Red Cross

In addition, 30 tons of food were raised locally in Albania compared to just over 13 tons in 2015.

Working with our soup kitchen partners, the food bank has contributed over 6,000 meals and in collaboration with many different agencies has assisted with the response to three different emergencies. All of these are encouraging trends that we hope to continue into 2017!

The Schools’ Project visited 70 schools in 2016 and reached an estimated 30,000 students. Student food drives account for a significant portion of the food raised in Albania and visiting more schools definitely helps fill the warehouse. In addition, students who are aware of the issues of poverty and hunger in Albania make great volunteers and our supermarket food drives benefit from the enthusiasm and passion of these students.

In conjunction with our international partners, the food bank has continued working on both the seeds project and the winter project. With the Seeds Project, the food bank has distributed 500 packets of seeds that enable families living in remote rural areas that are difficult to serve to grow their own produce. During December, January, February and March, the expanded Winter Project will provide food for 375 families across Albania. These programs make a huge difference in the lives of our beneficiaries and dramatically expand the reach of the food bank.

None of this work would have been possible without the time and effort of our volunteers. This year 280 volunteers gave their time to help with food bank projects, more than double the number of volunteers who contributed in 2015.

One of the highlights of 2016 has been working with Chris Brent to raise awareness about the food bank. Chris is a magician who has been living in Kosovo and Albania for the last 8 years. He is passionate about fighting hunger and has agreed to donate his time by working as an ambassador for the food bank. Chris has done shows at local schools, visited Korça to do a show for the food bank, and made videos to use on our Food Bank Albania Youtube Channel. Check out our videos page to see how Chris is supporting us – you can learn a few tricks while there too! Also, check out our Food Bank Albania Facebook Page to stay up to date with all our progress.

Here is the message from the Board of Directors to all the people involved in making our work successful: “This particular time-frame still faces large groups of people struggling with poverty and lack of food, while at the same time there is more and more food wasted and thrown away.

We are most grateful for Food Bank Albania that took up the challenge to fight poverty and food waste, on a  national level. I thank all partners, donors, volunteers and supporters for their efforts which brought  Food Bank Albania to where it is now. And there is still a lot more to achieve, so stay with us!”

You can be involved too. You can donate a package for the people in need or visit our webpage where you will find the list of food items that you can donate, as well as other ways you can support us.

Përmbledhje e Verës

Vera ka qenë e ngarkuar për Food Bank Albania. Gjatë dimrit që shkoi, ne filluam një projekt me fara zarzavatesh. U shpërndamë fara cilësore perimesh familjeve në nevojë me qëllim që ato të mund të siguronin ushqim të freskët dhe me vlera për familjet e tyre. summerupdate4Pothuajse 300 familje nga Korça, Elbasani dhe Shkodra morën farat dhe mbollën gjatë verës. Ne pritëm me padurim se si do të shkonte ky projekt dhe tani që sezoni i pjekjes ka ardhur, më në fund po fillojmë të shohim rezultate. Jemi të lumtur të shohim që projekti ka qenë i suksesshëm; familjet sapo po fillojnë të korrin të mbjellat e perimeve të gëzuara për ushqimin shtesë në tavolinë. Një pjesë e farave janë pjekur tashmë dhe një pjesë do të jenë gati gjatë vjeshtës.

summerupdate1

Në Qershor, ne bashkëpunuam me Qendrën Rinore të Tiranës për të implementuar një fushatë ushqimore në disa pika EcoMarket në Tiranë. Me ndihmën e vullnetarëve tanë qemë në gjendje të mbledhim 487 kg ushqim. Edhe gjatë muajve të verës ka familje që nuk i plotësojnë nevojat ushqimore dhe dhuratat bujare të blerësve bënë të mundur që ne të ndihmojmë 20 familje me një pako bazë si dhe të sigurojmë disa pako urgjente për më shumë familje të tjera.

summerupdate2a

Gjatë kësaj kohe kemi punuar për të përmirësuar programin tonë me shkollat lokale. Ashtu si në vitet e kaluara, ne po planifikojmë të vizitojmë shkolla nëpër Tiranë dhe të nxisim nxënësit të na ndihmojnë me fushatat e grumbullimit të ushqimit. Këtë vit, me qëllimin për ta bërë më përfshirës për studentët, ne po bashkëpunojmë me magjistarin Kris Brent! Krisi është mbështetës i Bankës së Ushqimit dhe ka ofruar të bëjë prezantime në disa prej shkollave që do të vizitojmë. Ai po sjell talentin e tij të iluzionistit edhe në faqen tonë në Facebook! Mos harroni të ndiqni videon e tij në faqen tonë për të mësuar se si kontributi juaj mund ta ndihmojë Bankën e Ushqimit (si dhe për të parë lugë që dalin në ajër nga hiçi). Krisi po ndihmon edhe me disa mësime numrash shpejtësie me qëllim që studentët të mësojnë të bëjnë truket e tyre gjithashtu. Kontrolloni shpesh faqen tonë në Facebook për këto mësime e të tjera lajme!

summerupdate3

Nëse do të donit të përfshiheshit në punën tonë, lutemi të konsideroni të dhuroni ushqim ose para. Puna jonë ndodh për shkak të zemërgjerësisë së komunitetit. Ne vazhdimisht kërkojmë për partnerë nga biznesi dhe nga komuniteti në luftën kundër urisë. Lutemi na kontaktoni nëse doni të organizoni një mbledhje ushqimore në zyrën tuaj ose të kontribuoni tek Banka e Ushqimit!

Kjo është historia e një personi që Banka e Ushqimit ka ndihmuar gjatë këtij viti:

Unë jam Entela. Familja ime përbëhet nga 6 anëtarë; unë, burri dhe 4 fëmijët, më i madhi është 12 vjeç dhe më i vogli 5 vjeç. Ne jetojmë në një dhomë me kushte shumë të vështira. Ne jemi pa punë; burri im del çdo ditë dhe mbledh kanaçe dhe bidona në kazanat e plehrave që të mund të kemi të paktën bukë për fëmijët tanë. Ndonjëherë i pi alkol dhe ato që ka fituar i shpenzon për vete dhe për ne nuk mbetet asgjë.

Shpesh, unë dhe fëmijët kemi fjetur me barkun bosh; kur ngriheshin në mëngjes fëmijët ndiheshin keq dhe ishin të uritur dhe nuk mund të shkonin në shkollë dhe në kopësht. Prisnim ditën tjetër çfarë mund të na sillte babi, çfarë mund të na jepte kisha ose të tjerët.

Kur banka e ushqimit solli për herë të parë ushqime në shtëpinë tonë, për ne ishte festë. Kur shikonim fëmijët që gëzoheshin shumë kur hanin reçel, qumësht, gjalpë, çokokrem, biskota, kur hapnin kutitë… O Zot!!! Ne asnjëherë nuk kemi parë aq ushqime bashkë. Për disa javë unë isha e qetë dhe nuk do të mendoja më se me çfarë do t’i ushqeja fëmijët, nuk do të më zinte gjumi duke qarë nga dhimbja dhe pamundësia për t’i ushqyer, nuk do bëja sherr me burrin dhe fëmijët do mund t’i coja në shkollë dhe kopësht me barkun plotë. Prandaj jam mirënjohëse dhe ju them “Faleminderit me gjithë zemër për gjithë këta muaj gëzimi dhe paqeje në familjen time!”

Summer Update

Summer has been busy for Food Bank Albania. Over the winter, we began a seeds project. We distributed quality vegetable seeds to needy families so they could grow their own summerupdate4crops and provide nutritious and fresh food for their families. Almost 300 families from Korçe, Elbasan and Shkoder received the seeds and planted their crops during the spring. We’ve been anxiously waiting to see what would happen with this project and now that the growing season is here, we are finally starting to see the results. We are happy to report that the project has been successful; families are just starting to harvest their vegetables and everyone is happy to have additional food on the table. Some of the vegetables are ripe and some others will be ready during autumn.

summerupdate1In June, we collaborated with the Tirana Youth Center to conduct a food drive at several EcoMarket stores in Tirana. With the help of our volunteers we were able to collect 487 kilograms of food. Even during the summer months, there are families that struggle to get enough food and the generous donations of shoppers made it possible for us to help 20 families with a basic parcel as well as provide some emergency parcels to more other families.

summerupdate2aWe’ve also been working to improve our program with local schools. As in past years, we plan to visit schools across Tirana and encourage students to help us with food drives. This year, to make the project more engaging for students, we are partnering with the magician Chris Brent! Chris is food bank supporter and has offered to do presentations at several of the schools that we will visit. He is also bringing his magical talents to our Facebook page! Be sure to check out his video on our page to learn how your contribution can help the food bank (and to see spoons appear out of thin air). Chris is also helping with some magic tutorials so students can learn their own magic tricks. Keep checking our Facebook page for these tutorials and more!

summerupdate3If you would like to get involved, please consider donating food or money to the Food Bank. Our work is only possible because of the generosity of the community. We are always looking for business and community partners in the fight against hunger. Please contact us if you would like to organise a food drive at your office or contribute to the food bank!

In case you’re wondering what impact your contribution can have, here is the story of one of the people the food bank has helped this year:

“My name is Entela. My husband and I have four children, between 5 and 12 years old. We live in a single room in very difficult conditions. We do not have jobs. Every day my husband collects cans and bottles from the trash to recycle so we can at least afford bread for our children. Sometimes he uses the money he earns to buy alcohol and then there is nothing for the rest of us. The children and I often go to bed with empty stomachs. It is difficult when we wake up and the children are sick or hungry and cannot go to school or kindergarten. We always look for anything that my husband can bring us or what we can get from the church.

When the Food Bank first brought food to our home it was like a holiday for us. The children rejoiced when they got to eat the marmalade, milk, butter, Nutella, and cookies that they found when they opened the boxes. – God!!! We have never eaten so many meals together. For several weeks I did not have to worry about what I would feed my children or about my children not being able to fall asleep from the hunger pain. I did not quarrel with my husband and our children could go to school and kindergarten with full stomachs. I am very grateful for the help and I want to tell you, thank you with all my heart for these months of joy and peace in my family!”

Aktivitetet në muajt Janar – Prill

12801615_10153912351996063_7404420282899529879_nMuajt e parë të vitit kanë qenë të ngarkuar për Bankën e Ushqimit. Në Mars, u bë shpërndarja e fundit e ushqimit për projektin e dimrit. Ky projekt u siguroi ushqim 250 familjeve për muajt e Dhjetorit, Janarit, Shkurtit e Marsit. Dimri është gjithmonë koha më e vështirë për të marxhinalizuarit dhe Food Bank Albania gëzohet të mundësojë ndihmë për ta. Një grua u shpreh që ndihmën e ushqimit që merr, ajo e ndan edhe me familje të tjera afër saj. U jemi mirënjohës organizatave tona partnere që ndihmuan për identifikimin e familjeve si dhe në shpërndarjen e ushqimit.

Për të mbajtur plot magazinën, banka e ushqimit ka bërë disa fushata ushqimore. Gjatë gjithë dimrit dhe pranverës ne vizituam shkollat lokale dhe u kërkuam studentëve të kontribuojnë me ushqim për nevojtarët. Kështu, gjatë javëve të fundit, ne kemi mbledhur kontributin e nxënësve nëpër Tiranë e rrethe. Njëri prej qëllimeve kryesorë është që të rinjtë shqiptarë të përfshihen në luftën kundër urisë dhe fushatat ushqimore janë mënyra më e mirë për këtë.school food drive

Në 9 dhe 10 Prill, banka e ushqimit organizoi një fushatë me komunitetin. Me mbështetjen e Carrefour dhe Eco Market, vullnetarët nga Food Bank Albania dhe Kryqi i Kuq mblodhën donacione në 13 pika në Tiranë. Nëse bëtë pazar në një prej këtyre ditëve mund të keni vënë re vullnetarët që kërkojnë donacione tek supermarketi lokal. Fushata
u bë gjithashtu edhe në qytetet e Fierit, Elbasanit, Shkodrës dhe Lushnjes. Rezultati ishte rreth 2 tonë dhurata ushqimore që do të ndihmojnë bankën e ushqimit t’u sigurojë vakte të ushqyeshme gjatë verës familjeve në nevojë.

Food driveGjithashtu, gjatë muajit Mars, banka e ushqimit filloi një Program Sponsorizimi për Fëmijët që ka për qëllim të arrijë rreth 30 familje Rome në zonën e Elbasanit. Qëllimi i projektit është t’i mbështesë ata me qëllim që fëmijët e vegjël të shkojnë në shkollë.

Faleminderit kujtdo që ka ndihmuar në këto përpjekje – pa vullnetarët, ndihmën financiare dhe donacionet e ushqimit nuk do të kishte një bankë ushqimore. Koha dhe kontributet tuaja bëjnë ndryshimin në luftën kundër urisë në Shqipëri!

January – April activities newsletter

12801615_10153912351996063_7404420282899529879_nThe first few months of the year have been busy for Food Bank Albania. In March, we completed the last month of food deliveries for the winter project. This project provided food to 250 families for the months of December, January, February and March. Winter is always the hardest time for food insecure families and those struggling to get by and Food Bank Albania is happy to be able to help some of those in need. A woman said that the help that she receives, she shares with other families around her. We are thankful to our partner organizations for helping to identify families and distribute food.

To keep our warehouse full, the Food Bank has conducted several food drives. Throughout winter and spring we visited local schools and asked students to contribute food to help the needy. Over the last several weeks, we have been collecting the contributions of students around Tirana and other cities. One of the Food Bank’s main goals is to get Albanian youth involved in the fight against hunger and the food drives are the best way to do that.school food drive

On April 9th and 10th the Food Bank conducted a community-wide food drive. With the support of Carrefour and Eco Market, volunteers from Food Bank Albania and the Red Cross were able to collect donations at 13 points throughout Tirana. If you went shopping on either of those days you may have noticed volunteers requesting donations at your local supermarket. The campaign was also done in the cities of Fier, Elbasan, Shkodër and Lushnje. It resulted in almost 2 tons of food donations that will help the Food Bank provide needy families with nutritious meals into summer.

During the month of March, the Food Bank started a Child Sponsorship Programme that aims at reaching about 30 Roma families in the Elbasan area. The goal of the project is to support them so that the little children can attend school.

Food drive

 

Thank you to everyone who has helped with these efforts – without volunteers, financial support and food donations there wouldn’t be a food bank. Your time and contributions are making a difference in the fight against hunger in Albania!

A good start to the year!

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On February 11 2016, Food Bank Albania hosted a meeting for 13 distributing organizations. It was a great opportunity to get together and evaluate our current programs and the needs of the people that we serve as organizations.

ngo-feb11-2016One of the benefits of getting together is the ability to collaborate to address our needs and identify areas where our organizations can work together. Many of the organizations are hoping to expand the number of families and individuals they can reach and would like to receive more food from the food bank. Food Bank Albania believes in this goal and believes that we can dramatically increase the amount of food we distribute by working together to provide volunteers for food drives and expanding the number of supermarket collection points that we offer.

It was a good way to start the year and to meet people who are invested in the fight against poverty! At Food Bank Albania, we have ambitious goals for 2016 and with the help of our partners we are confident that we can reach even more families this year!

Një Fillim – Viti i Mbarë!

Në datën 11 Shkurt 2016, Food Bank Albania organizoi një takim me 13 organizata partnere shpërndarëse. Ishte një mundësi e mire për t’u takuar dhe vlerësuar programet aktuale dhe nevojat e njerëzve të cilëve u shërbejmë si organizata.

ngo-feb11-2016Njëra prej pikave pozitive të të takuarit bashkë është adresimi i nevojave tona dhe identifikimi i fushave ku ne si organizata mund të punojmë së bashku. Shumë prej organizatave shpresojnë të zgjerojnë numrin e familjeve dhe personave që arrijnë dhe u shprehën për më shumë ushqim nga banka e ushqimit.

Food Bank Albania beson në qëllimin që ne mund të rrisim shumë sasinë e ushqimit që shpërndajmë nëse punojmë së bashku për të siguruar më tepër vullnetarë për fushatat e mbledhjeve ushqimore, duke zgjeruar kështu numrin e pikave të supermarketeve të arritura.

Ishte një fillimviti i mbarë së bashku me njerëzit të cilët janë përkushtuar për të luftuar varfërinë. Në Food Bank Albania, ne kemi qëllime ambicioze për vitin 2016 dhe me ndihmën e partnerëve besojmë që mund të arrijmë edhe më tepër familje në këtë vit!

Food Bank Albania’s Year in Review (2015)

food driveIf you would like to subscribe to our future posts, please add your email address on the sidebar below and click the orange button ‘Abonohu’.

As we start the new year, it is the perfect opportunity to look back on 2015. In collaboration with FEBA (European Federation of Food Banks), Food Bank Albania launched several new programs and continued to expand its operations to reach more families and individuals in need. Here are some of the highlights of last year’s projects.

Food Bank Albania continues to expand its operations and distribute more food to needy families and individuals. In 2015, thanks to the generosity of donors the food bank was able to distribute approximately 18 tons of food. This more than doubles the amount of food that was distributed in 2014! As in previous years, all food donations are distributed by the food bank’s partner organizations and are given to families and individuals living below the poverty line. This increase makes a huge difference to families struggling with hunger!

school collaboration2015 was a year for collaboration with local agencies. During the year, Food Bank Albania’s
school project expanded to four Albanian cities: Tirana, Korҫa, Elbasan, and Shkodër. Food Bank staff presented information about food banks to students and asked them to participate in a food drive by collecting food at their schools. Food Bank Albania plans to continue working with students in the coming year to raise awareness of poverty and hunger in Albania. The food bank also began collaborating with two other soup kitchens in Tirana by providing them with food.

An ambitious initiative undertaken in 2015 was the winter project. This project will provide food for 250 Albanian families from December 2015 until March 2016. This assistance during the coldest months of the year will make it a bit easier for these families to get through until spring. Families supported include single mothers, Roma, people with disabilities, and families involved in blood feuds.

In December, Food Bank Albania conducted food drives on two weekends. Shoppers at two Carrefour hypermarkets and five Eco Market supermarkets were able to buy food to donate to the food bank and drop their donations off with volunteers as they left the store. These food drives collected 5 tons of food along with donations of clothing and needed personal hygiene items. This generosity is critical to the food bank’s mission!

projekti shqiptaretDecember was also the month of the food bank’s “Projekti “Shqiptaret per Shqiptaret” (Project Albanians for Albanians). In conjunction with the Dutch and United States embassies, the Belgian consulate, businesses, NGOs, and foreign donors Food Bank Albania collected food and clothing donations for distribution to needy families around the country.

Food Bank Albania is thankful for a successful 2015 and thankful for the opportunity to impact the lives of so many people. Most importantly, the food bank is thankful for the continued support and generosity of our donors and collaborators. Without the contributions of people and organizations, the food bank would not be able to continue its work. With your help, Food Bank Albania is looking forward to an even more successful 2016!

Dita Botërore e Ushqimit

Në ditën botërore të Ushqimit, më datën 16 Tetor 2015, Food Bank Albania siguroi një dërgesë 1 ton ushqim nga shkolla Tirana International School. Studentët dhe mësuesit, për dy javë rresht, grumbulluan ushqimin nga familjet dhe të afërmit e tyre dhe ua dorëzuan atë vullnetarëve të Food Bank Albania. Shprehim falenderim dhe mirënjohje për dhuratën si dhe dëshirën për të vazhduar këtë bashkëpunim në të ardhmen. Kjo është hera e dytë që Tirana International School merr pjesë në misionin e organizatës sonë.

Në realitetin e tanishëm kur Banka Botërore deklaron që niveli i varfërisë ekstreme është trefishuar gjatë viteve 2008 – 2012, nga 10.900 persona në 30.900, mbetet shumë për t’u bërë për të luftuar varfërinë. Aktualisht, sipas Bankës Botërore, 32.1% e Shqiptarëve jetojnë me më pak se 5 dollarë në ditë ndërkohë që në vendet e rajonit, popullsia që jeton me më pak se 5 dollarë në ditë varion nga 2% në Bosnjë deri në 23.86% në Maqedoni.