About 9 million tons of food are wasted annually in Poland

About 9 million tons of food are wasted annually in Poland

About 9 million tons of food are wasted annually in Poland, and about 1.6 million people live in extreme poverty. Among the initiatives to counteract this, there are, among others Caritas Spiżarnia program, food donation of the Federation of Polish Food Banks and the Too Good To Go application.

According to the statistics of the Federation of Polish Food Banks (FPBŻ), there are approximately 1.6 million people living in extreme poverty in Poland, and the pandemic situation has exacerbated this problem even more. However, these are not all people who need food support. There may even be 5-6 million Poles in need - estimates FPFŻ.

According to Caritas Polska, "approx. 9 million tonnes of food are wasted in Poland annually. Households waste nearly half of this amount. just buying too much food. " These statistics increase the most during the holidays and summer when there is a season for trips and barbecues.

Pursuant to the Act on Combating Food Waste, which entered into force on September 18, 2019, grocery stores and wholesalers with an area of ​​more than 250 sq m (for the first two years of the new regulations being in force above 400 sq m), half of the revenues of which come from sales of food, they must conclude agreements with non-governmental organizations for the free transfer of unsold food. It is primarily about products that have been withdrawn from sale due to defects in their appearance or packaging. The exception is alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content over 1.2%. and alcoholic beverages that are a mixture of beer and non-alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content exceeding 0.5%. On March 1, 2020, the provisions on fees entered into force. Sellers will pay PLN 0.1 per kilogram of wasted food.

In Poland, activities aimed at avoiding wasting food in multi-storey stores include, among others a promotional zone with products with short shelf life, food donation, incl. for the Federation of Polish Food Banks and partnership with the Too Good To Go application.

The "Caritas Pantry" program, implemented since March 2017 by Caritas Polska in partnership with Archdiocesan and Diocesan Caritas, also serves to counteract food waste. The program distributes food products with a short shelf life. They are collected from stores and transferred to Caritas outlets and directly to those in need.

Currently, as part of the Spiżarnia Caritas 40 program, Diocesan Caritas and other church organizations, as public benefit organizations, have signed contracts for food collection from nearly 1,000 stores of various retail chains.

Thanks to the food received, nearly 50 thousand. of people regularly receive packages or meals in Caritas eateries. Over 1,300 volunteers are involved in providing food to those in need.

The biggest partner in the "Spiżarnia Caritas" program is the Biedronka chain of stores, which also supports Caritas in social and social programs. Other retail chains were involved in the implementation of the "Spiżarnia Caritas" program: ALDI, Carrefour, EUROCASH, GOBARTO, INTERMARCHE, Kaufland, LIDL, Netto, Piotr i Paweł, Schiever, Selgros and Tesco.

In 2017 and 2018, as part of the "Caritas Pantry", over 2.6 thousand tons of food. In 2019, it was already over 5,000. tons of food.

From 2019, the free Too Good To Go application that works with Android and iOS has been operating in Poland. Thanks to it, food that would end up in the trash can be bought with a large discount. Thanks to the application, a specific place or store is selected, but we never know what exactly will be in the package. You can contact the restaurant and ask what the packages contain. There are several methods of payment: credit card, Apple Pay, Dotpay and PayPal. (PAP)

Author: Magdalena Gronek 

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