Growing demand for food charity help
4 April 2006, BRUSSELS — The number of people requesting help from the Belgian Federation of Food Banks increased by 2 percent last year.
4 April 2006
BRUSSELS — The number of people requesting help from the Belgian Federation of Food Banks increased by 2 percent last year.
Some 106,550 made use of the charitable service, which collects surplus stock from the food and retail industry and distributes it to the needy.
In 1995, some 70,000 people requested help from the service, rising to 91,000 in 1999.
The number of people in need has continued to increase in the years since.
Antwerp University professor Jan Vranken said the increase was partly due to the increased awareness of the public about the nation's nine food banks.
Vranken also said an increasing number of people are facing financial problems because the minimum wage is still trailing the average wage.
And despite the heightened need of the service, just 8,400 ton of food was collected by the Food Bank last year compared with 9,128 ton in 2004.
This is because the food industry produced a smaller surplus. The EU also reduced its contribution of flour, pasta, rice and milk last year.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news