The Czech Federation of Food Banks has recorded a sharp increase in the amount of food donated to charities. According to Czech Radio, the amount of food collected in the first quarter of 2018 was five times higher than in the same period last year.
The sharp increase is mainly due to the new amendment to the Food Act that came into effect in the Czech Republic in January 2018, requiring all supermarkets over 400 square metres to donate unsold but still consumable food to charities.
Under the regulation, supermarkets can donate food with deformed packaging, incorrect labelling or items labelled with a minimum shelf-life.
During the first quarter of 2018, the German supermarket chain Kaufland has supplied some 120 tonnes of food to the federation of Food Banks in the first quarter, while Tesco has donated about 100 tonnes.
In 2017, Czech food banks collected more than 2,300 tonnes of food which were then redistributed to 96,000 people in need.
According to the director of the Czech Federation of Food Banks, Veronika Láchová, the demand is not weakening.
“At the moment, we are trying to make sure we can supply our clients with fresh products. We are trying to figure out how to best preserve dairy products. In this sector, we still have a lot to catch up with,” she told Czech Radio.
To deal with the increased influx of donated food, the Czech Federation of Food Banks recently opened a new logistics centre in Modletice on the outskirts of Prague.
The space was provided free of charge by one of the supermarket chains and allows more than 700 tons of food to be stored there.