COVID-19 has placed the global economy under tremendous strain, and the agri-food supply chain has been affected with disruptions in food supply, a reorganization of food manufacturing and distribution, as well as new food habits of consumers shifting to production and consumption back into homes. At the same time, it is worth recalling that according to the UN, currently 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that was expected to increase to 60% by 2050. However, the pandemic is disrupting urban food systems worldwide and posing a number of unexpected challenges for public authorities, food business operators, cities and also non-profit organizations such as FEBA network and their affiliated partner charities that deal with rapid changes in food availability, accessibility, and affordability – especially for disadvantaged people.

The context can vary from country to country, but all the members of the European Food Banks Federation are showing similar challenges such as the growing demand for food, the loss of volunteers, a reorganization of the operational model, and a drop in financial resources. 

Despite all these difficulties, our members are expressing their full commitment, creativity, and openness to change. They continue to ensure the activity while adapting and innovating their actions to this new ‘normal’. In this context, the Annual Forum “European Food Banks Federation: competences and creativity to feed the future” was organised on 17 December 2020 with the objective to take stock of the current situation and spot a light on future trends and a focus on European policies such as the Next Generation EU and the ESF+.

Contributions from FEBA members, officials from the European Commissions and representatives from the Academia gave a comprehensive overview and foster the discussion.

European Food Banks: a wave of solidarity to face COVID-19

Since March, the COVID-19 has presented an unprecedented challenge across Europe, disrupting the normality of our lives and with severe impacts on our society and economy.

On the occasion of FEBA Annual Forum on Food Aid and Social Inclusion, the European Food Banks is publishing a new report, highlighting the challenges and responses to COVID-19 as well as telling good stories from our members. 



Laura Gavinelli

Management Consultant & Trainer


Jacques Vandenschrik

President of the European Food Banks Federation

Veronica Toffolutti

Research Fellow in Health Economics at Bocconi University

Paula Capodistrias

Project Manager at Matsentralen Norge (Norway)

Marco Lucchini

Secretary General of Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus (Italy)

Balázs Cseh

President of Magyar Élelmiszerbank Egyesület (Hungary)

Veronika Láchová

CEO of Česká Federace Potravinových Bank (Czech Republic)

Emma Walsh

International Partnerships Director at FoodCloud (Ireland)

Loris Di Pietrantonio

Head of Unit for ESF and FEAD, Policy and legislation, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission

Roberta Sonnino

Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning at Cardiff University

Paul Milbourne

Professor of Human Geography at Cardiff University

About the European Food Banks Federation

The European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) is a European umbrella non-profit organization and works in collaboration with 24 full members and 5 associate members in European countries.

For 34 years, FEBA mission has consisted in representing its membership at European and international level, supporting and strengthening food banks in Europe by providing training, sharing best practice and knowledge, and developing partnerships, and fostering the creation of new food banks.

FEBA brings together 430 food banks and branches which are committed to fight against food waste and to feed the most deprived. Our members provide 4.2 million meals each day to 9.5 million most deprived people through 45,283 charitable organizations thanks to the professionalism of 32,280 co-workers (84% volunteers)

In addition to surplus food from the food supply chain, FEBA members also redistribute food from the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD) and the Fruits and Vegetables withdrawal scheme, as well as from individual donations.