Poland has been benefiting from an allocation of almost 100k tonnes of food aid, funded 85% by the EU from the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) and the remainder from within Poland. It’s good timing with WP Finance reporting yesterday 5.4% of Poles at starvation levels in 2015.

image bulk food Poland

FEAD fund 92.6 thousand tonnes

Last year the EU fund announced Poland would get €473 million of funding, with an additional €83m to be made up from national resources, for the 2014-2020 period. Approximately 80% of the benefit allocation has been delivered in the May-November period, with the remainder to continue through to April 2016.

At the time Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, commented:

I welcome the adoption of this operational programme for Poland, which will help the country to tackle its high rate of severe material deprivation. I also highly value the particular attention paid to large families and homeless people suffering the greatest difficulties. I believe that the FEAD will play a key role to help Europe’s most vulnerable citizens get a foothold in society and make a significant contribution to our fight against poverty.

Up to 10% of the food is sourced from donations. The care package is made up of:

  • food/starch (pasta, spiral, barley, rice, corn, coffee, grain), 24 thousand tonnes
  • food/milk (UHT milk, cheeses, ripened cheeses melted), 16.2 thousand tonnes
  • fruits and vegetables (sweet peas with carrots, Apple juice, Strawberry Jam, tomato), 15.5 thousand tonnes
  • meat (luncheon meat, pork, meatballs in gravy), 12.8 thousand tonnes
  • sugar, approx 9 thousand tonnes
  • canola, 5.5 thousand tonnes.

The fund is designed for people and families qualifying as the most needy, such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness, orphans, long-term disability or serious illness. Income must not be more than 150% of social assistance eligibility, 951zł for an individual or 771zł for a family member.

The programme is managed by the Ministry of labour and social policy, and partners with national organisations; the Federation of Polish food banks, Caritas Poland, Polish Social Assistance Committee (PKPS), Polish Red Cross (PCK), and 73 regional organizations; (food banks, regional branches of the PKPS/PCK), and 1,439 local organizations; (local associations and foundations, branches of the district courts PKPS/PCK).
The intermediary manager is the Agricultural Market Agency (Agencja Rynku Rolnego) processing applications, coordinating supply, billing and payments.

Groceries are delivered to these organizations nationwide that ship them to regional organisations, and these in turn give them to local institutions that distribute food to specific families. In addition, the social assistance organisations carry out actions for the poor in order to combat social exclusion e.g. by organising all kinds of activities and workshops.

Since the time the program was instigated, a new right-wing government is in place in Poland that have made their anti-EU sentiments known.

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