Spring Food Drive Yields 438 Tonnes of GoodsPublished: May 4, 2023 Reading time: 4 minutes
During the spring round of the Food Drive (Sbírka potravin) a total of 394 tonnes of food items were collected, which can be used to prepare up to 78,8000 meals. In addition, customers contributed 44 tonnes of basic drugstore and toiletry items. All the goods went to food banks from where social workers were able to provide food parcels to those in need. The collection took place in 1,540 stores across the country, including Ostrov, Bílina, Jeseník, Přerov, Prostějov and Olomouc, where PIN was also present.
Our first time helping in Olomouc
We were at Penny in Olomouc and immediately managed to collect 432 kilograms of food and drugstore items. "A mother with a stroller and a child of about one or two years old comes to mind. She put a whole shopping bag of stuff in our cart, which contained exactly what I think a family mom would do for a grocery shopping trip: non-perishable food for cooking, some drugstore items, candy for the kids... just a full-fledged shopping trip. And then there was a young man who looked like he was just out for a snack, but he brought us olive oil, canned tuna and cashew nuts, which our clients certainly don't normally get, so they will be undoubtedly happy," says service coordinator Lucie Praxová. "People who don't have much themselves understand that we need to help each other, and even two packages of pasta can help," she added.
Ostrov gave us a tonne
In Ostrov, seven PIN staff and two volunteers helped at Kaufland where we collected 988 kilograms of goods. "Overall, the size of the donations were smaller and some customers regarded us with looks of displeasure from afar. But there were still those who came and asked what we were most in need of and then brought us shopping baskets filled to the brim with food," says Richard Kubíček, Professional Social Counselling and Outreach Programmes Coordinator in Karlovy Vary.
Young people were among the many who helped us in Jeseník
In the Kaufland in Jeseník, we had more donors come by for the spring round than had visited us in the autumn allowing us to collected 671 kilograms of food and drugstore items! "It is impossible to which demographic helped out the most this year, as there were a lot of pensioners, families with children and individuals. What surprised us the most was that there were a lot of young people among our donors. There were clearly more of them than in previous years and some of them even donated entire shopping carts of goods," reflects Ladislava Kubišová, insolvency and Debt Counsellor. "One of our debt counseling clients also stopped by and asked if the Drive would be going next week, because he'd love to contribute but he wouldn't get his paycheck until next week," she adds.
In Prostějov, like always
In Prostějov we collected 541 kilograms of goods. "One lady donates every year, she remembers with nostalgia how much we've collected in the past and says that it's a pity that now people are not showing as much solidarity. But I don't see it that way. Every cycle we prepare ourselves for the fact that the outcome might not be as high as we'd like: first because of COVID, then because of energy prices and so on, but every time, I leave the Food Drive surprised by how much we've raised and with the feeling that every little thing can make a big difference. Even when someone just contributes one thing, the tonnes pile up quickly," says Martina Tihlářová, Education and Services Coordinator.
Maybe you saw us in Přerov?
In Přerov, we collected 610 kilograms of aid. "We didn't collect as much pasta as we'd hoped. And we also had very few diapers and containers of breastfeeding formula... in general, we collected fewer drugstore items than normal," explains Social Services Coordinator, Helena Hilscherová, which was also a noted in other stores. According to Helena, about one in 20 people donated, making it a weaker year for the Food Drive. But the last three donors who donated basketsful of goods worth over 3,500 CZK (€150) definitely stuck in her mind!
And we didn't forget Bílina, of course!
In Bílina, we helped collect 399 kilograms of food at Lidl and 11 kilograms at Tesco. "The mood was cheerful, everyone was smiling. All age groups came to donate, and the most frequent donations were pasta and baby food, while there were less canned food and milk," reflects field worker Veronika Bednářová.
The involvement of our staff in the Food Drive is an important part of our cooperation with food banks. It allows us to help poor families and senior citizens with food aid, which we can then follow up with social counseling.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the spring round of the Food Drive!