A growing number of people in Munich rely on charitable donations of food and free meals. The corresponding aid is provided by non-profit organizations, including Muenchner Tafel, which this year is being sponsored as part of the traditional Christmas donation campaign by EPCOS and TDK Europe.
A flourishing economy, an excellent infrastructure, outstanding medical services and a high standard of living: according to the 2016 ranking produced jointly by the renowned economics journal "Wirtschaftswoche" and the online real-estate portal Immobilienscout24, Munich is once again the best German city to live in. Yet the boom also has its downside: above-average rises in the cost of living and a growing number of people who can no longer manage without support.
It is these people who have been helped since 1994 by the Muenchner Tafel and its army of more than 600 volunteers. Every week these volunteers collect perfectly good quality food items from grocery stores, which are then handed out to people in need at 27 stations distributed across the city. In addition, the society delivers to more than 100 social facilities such as youth centers, women's refuges and therapeutic communities. At some distribution stations Muenchner Tafel also offers hot meals, freshly prepared in the cafeteria kitchens of sponsoring companies. The society uses donations for purchasing the essential basic foodstuffs, for maintaining about 17 delivery vehicles, and for office materials.
Over the years, the number of people in need and the quantity of food distributed have grown continuously: "We now supply about 20,000 people in need every week; people who, through cruel twists of fate, are now out of their depth and can no longer cope: single parents, families with many children, the unemployed, the sick and elderly," says the organization's chairperson Hannelore Kiethe. "We distribute 120,000 kilograms of food to these people every week. Food that is of perfectly good quality, but no longer saleable by the retailers because, for example, the packaging is damaged." Those in need rely heavily on the support of Münchner Tafel. They receive the food free of charge, provided they are in possession of an authorization card issued by Muenchner Tafel.
"To us it is a pleasure, but above all an obligation as an organization based in Munich, to support such exemplary social services in this city," explains Elke Herrnbeck, who is responsible at EPCOS CC for selecting the charitable organizations and for running the Christmas donation and greeting campaign. As in previous years, EPCOS will therefore make a contribution of 20,000 euros and, for the first time, TDK Europe will contribute an additional 5,000 euros.