Our work has had quite a big impact in the last several months. Earthquakes and pandemic have not stopped the solidarity of Albanians to come together and provide help to many families in need. Food Bank Albania, working along side volunteers and donating businesses, is striving to deliver as much food and supplies as possible in all negatively affected areas of the country, while maintaining and respecting government regulations. Although it is a difficult time, many organizations have stepped up and given what they could in order to improve the situation many poor families are facing.
The recovery of fresh food produce has tripled to 20 tons per month and we are distributing more than ever. We expect to be delivering about 30-40 tons of fresh produce during each of the summer months. There are about 70 charities and 20 state institutions that receive this food from the food bank.
Since our last update in the end of November, Food Bank Albania has distributed over 223,000 kg of food, providing the equivalent of over 500,000 meals to those in need during these difficult times.
We thank each and every partner, supporter, volunteer and donor – including those in the fresh food markets, and all businesses contributing to this cause together.
Our partnering distributing NGOs, who distribute both fresh and packaged food to the hungry families, have responded quickly when we have notified them of food supplies ready for shipment. As the quantity of fresh food donations has multiplied, we implemented a solution to extend the life of the food by installing a cooling room. It was made possible through a special dutch donation and it will help us better manage the fresh food supply. This will highly impact our operations; and there will be more time available to distribute the larger loads of food received, as well as better handling of area distributions. It will also better support the soup kitchens in the most affected areas.
Although the demand for food and help has steadily increased, Food Bank Albania has worked around the clock time and again to respond. It is not an easy job, a job that requires not only the dedication of our volunteers but also the safety of their lives and the lives of those who serve them in a very complex situation.
Other activities in the last few months included:
- Several food drives in Tirana and in other local food bank branch cities
- Municipal and businesses activities with Food Bank Shkoder to help with earthquake relief
- Food assistance to urgent areas, such as Kënetë, Laç, Thumanë, Shën Vlash, Ishëm, Vlashaj and Shijak
- Constant food donations from generous businesses and organizations across the country
- New educational material developed in cooperation with UN’s FAO on food waste reduction in primary and secondary schools
- Dedicated funds toward the COVID-19 situation
- Distribution of more than 1,600 packages of seeds to local farmers around the country by our volunteers
- 20,000 kgs of fresh food collected and distributed in just the month of May, 2020
- Large quantity of food imported from the US for distribution