Food Bank Lithuania is a typical food recovery and redistribution charity/social enterprise. It’s a very effective organisation playing vital role in supplementing food options or the socially disadvantaged people across the country. Food Bank has agreements with some of the largest grocery chains for redistributing some of the unsold food that otherwise would have been wasted.
The Lithuanian food bank „Maisto bankas” was launched in 2001. „Maisto bankas” operates across Lithuania as a mediator collecting donated food from retailers, producers, general public and providing them to the poor through the network of social non-profits; the latter ensure that donated foodstuffs reach beneficiaries in need.
The Lithuanian Food Bank is a member of the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA) since 2008.
„Maisto bankas” runs offices and warehouses in 4 major Lithuanian regional centres – Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys. With the help of 378 volunteers and 25 employees „Maisto bankas” collects and distributes food on a daily basis in 46 Lithuanian cities. „Maisto bankas” cooperates with the network of 707 charities and social institutions.
In 2014 „Maisto bankas” collected 4657 tons of food worth 4,2 M EUR. That allowed the Lithuanian food bank to serve more than 5,9 million meals to the poor.
Collaborating with second largest Lithuanian retailer “IKI”, „Maisto bankas” runs a national project of minimizing food waste. „Maisto Bankas” collects close-to-date, fresh and perishable food items and swiftly distributes them to the needy. During the 2014 “IKI” donated food worth 1,5 M EUR. As a result 1129 tons food had been saved from being wasted and was delivered to the needy.
Twice a year „Maisto bankas” organizes national food collections. During them last year Lithuanian people donated 660 000 EUR worth of food. Up to 140 000 shoppers participate in each food collection donating cereals, pastas, canned goods and other non-perishable food items. Food collections are organized in 57 Lithuanian cities with the help of more than 7800 volunteers. Collected food is distributed to the poor through 300 co-operating charities. Food collections provide 12% of „Maisto bankas” incoming food donations.
Since 2006, along with Lithuanian Caritas and Red Cross „Maisto bankas” distributes European Food Aid Programme (PEAD) food parcels to the most vulnerable citizens. PEAD food contributes up to 23% of the whole annual bulk of food aid distributed by „Maisto bankas”.
Lithuanian Food Bank has exposed 23 special food containers in “Rimi” hypermarkets in 12 major cities. There “Rimi” customers can donate non-perishable food items by placing them in these containers. Lithuanian Food Bank volunteers discard these containers twice a month. Donated food is distributed to most needy people living in respected communities.
Thanks to corporate and private donations and contributions from devoted volunteers, „Maisto bankas” can operate highly effectively – each donated euro generates the food aid equivalent of €15.
More information is available in Lithuanian: www.maistobankas.lt
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