Topic 2.5: Why Food Banks and Food Aid Programmes are important?

According to Eurostat data from 2021, 95.4 million people in the EU (21.7% of the population) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion. [2]

And at the same time…

Around 88 million tones of food are wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros [11].

That’s why food banks counteract hunger paradoxe.

You can read more about managing and managing food surpluses within food aid in Module 4, Chapters 3 and 4

Food programs are created to help people in need. The characteristics of organizations that offer food aid vary greatly. You could learn about the structure and principle of operation of food banks in the previous part of the chapter. However, it is worth remembering that food banks also differ in terms of their operating model and target group. Many banks also conduct research, judicial and educational activities.

The criteria for receiving food aid vary, often you can apply for help at a facility and receive it on an ad hoc basis, but you often have to undergo verification by social centers, e.g. in Poland, in order to benefit from food aid under the FEAD program, you must meet two conditions: the income criterion and one of the conditions for a difficult life situation specified in the Social Assistance Act (Journal of Laws of 2021, item 2268, as amended). In the years 2014-2016, the income criterion was 150% of the statutory criterion entitling to social assistance, increased in 2017-2020 to 200% and then to 220%.

You can read more about managing and managing food surpluses within food banks in Module 4.

Food Aid Programs in the EU

  1. European Food Banks Federation (FEBA):

The European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) stands as a collaborative network of food banks throughout Europe. Its primary mission is to combat both food waste and food poverty by fostering cooperation among member organizations. FEBA facilitates the exchange of best practices in the recovery and distribution of surplus food. FEBA concentrates on coordinating efforts to collect excess food from the food industry and ensure its equitable distribution to individuals and families in need through its network of member food banks.

European Food Banks Federation – FEBA (

  1. European Union’s Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD):

The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) is an initiative of the European Union, providing financial assistance to EU member states. It aims to alleviate material deprivation, including food aid, by supporting national programs implemented by partner organizations. FEAD directs its support towards the distribution of food, essential goods, and activities promoting social inclusion for vulnerable populations.

In profile: Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) | Data | European Structural and Investment Funds (

Food Aid Programmes in the EU