On Friday and Saturday food collection days, the food bank stocks long-lasting food in 77 retail stores across Estonia to alleviate the increased need for food and to replenish food stocks.

"This year, the number of people needing help from the food bank has reached an average of 20,000 people per week, of which nearly 8,000 are children. There are several reasons for the increase in those in need of help - inflation, increased energy prices, the addition of Ukrainian war refugees, the increase in relative poverty," said Piet Boerefijn, CEO of Toidupank. He added that consciously donated food before Christmas is an important addition to the food table of needy people.

According to Boerefijn, the Food Bank's food turnover has increased this year compared to last year, but mainly due to the so-called saved food from stores. "The goal is to add high-quality, long-lasting products to the saved food, so that the food package is more diverse and nutritious. Of these, however, Food Banks have the biggest shortage," added Boerefijn.

"77 retail stores across Estonia participate in the campaign, where over 1,000 volunteers participate in the two days, helping to collect donations and prepare the collected goods for transport," said Boerefijn. This year, the Food Bank's food collection days will be held for the second time, as part of the campaign that took place at the beginning of April, a total of over 40,000 kilos of food was donated.

A selection of Rimi Rimi Baltics is major retail operator in the Baltic states based in Riga, Latvia. It operates more than 88 grocery stores in Estonia. , Prisma, Selver Selver is a chain of supermarkets and hypermarkets operating in Estonia. , Coop, Maksimarket, Konsum, Lidl and Maxima grocery stores across Estonia have joined the initiative.

The food bank has been operating since March 2010 to alleviate the problem of poverty in Estonian society and fight against food waste. This year, the Food Bank has distributed over 3.7 million kilos of rescued and donated food to those in need. In addition, European Union food aid is distributed four times a year. A total of 16 Food Banks operate in different county centers in the Food Bank network.

You can find the list of supermarkets that participate in donation collecting, below this article: