Thuringia: Seven food banks have applied for state aid

High inflation and many needy people - the volunteer food banks are struggling.

Thuringia: Seven food banks have applied for state aid

High inflation and many needy people - the volunteer food banks are struggling. The state government wants to help them financially. But for the time being, few have sought help.

Erfurt (dpa/th) - According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, seven food banks in Thuringia have applied for financial aid from the state. The food banks in Apolda, Erfurt, Ilmenau, Jena, Meiningen, Schleiz and Sondershausen had submitted applications for support for the procurement of food, a ministry spokeswoman said on request. The state government had promised to provide financial support to the contact points for the needy, which were heavily used due to inflation and at the same time suffered from high fuel prices. There are 31 volunteer boards in Thuringia.

According to the ministry, up to 3,000 euros can be paid per table. The funds come from revenue from the Thuringian State Lottery. The individual ministries have reserved part of the lottery funds available to them for the food banks. The boards were able to submit applications until mid-September, and according to the ministry, those received are currently being examined. "Should there be any further need, needy panels should come to us at short notice with appropriate applications," said the spokeswoman.

In view of the many calls for help from panels, more applications had been expected. It was "a shame" that only relatively few applications had been made, said Beate Weber-Kehr, chairwoman of the Association of Thuringian Food Banks. In their estimation, the low demand is related to the application formalities, which are sometimes perceived as too complicated. The main obstacle, however, is that the food banks are being asked to pay their own share of the financial aid. According to the ministry, the panels were informed that their own share of the use of lottery money is 20 percent. "It's difficult for the boards," said Weber-Kehr.

The voluntary food banks collect unsold or donated food from supermarkets, bakeries or food manufacturers and distribute it to the needy for a small fee. Most recently, the national association had observed a decline in food donations with more people in need, not least because of the Ukraine refugees using the food banks.

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