Food can keep for quite a while. But this doesn't stop a lot of it ending up in the garbage in Germany every day. Around 18 million metric tons a year, in fact, according to WWF estimates. All these food products are grown, harvested, processed and transported to the consumer. Meaning a lot of natural resources are used for food that just ends up in the trash.
Donations for a good cause
But we have a better plan for it. For many years now, we have been working with the non-profit association, Tafel Deutschland e.V., donating food for a good cause. Whether it's lentil stew, a pasta dish or chocolate brownies – many items that we offer for sale on board our long-distance trains are still good enough to eat even when they are no longer on the menu for our customers. At our logistics centers, we check what is still edible and give it away to Tafel organizations across Germany.
Besides the Tafel, we also support the Berlin non-profit association “Cyclists for the homeless” with food supplies. Volunteers from the organization are environmentally aware and travel around the capital by bike distributing food to those in need. We also donate food originally meant for sale on board of our trains to the “Arche” foundation and to children's hospices. Especially during the corona lockdown, we were able to give a wide range of food items from our warehouses to those who needed them most.
In addition to food, we also give away tableware that is no longer needed. In the past we were able to donate thousands of tableware items, including cups and plates, to the Travelers' Aid Society and the Tafel.
In this way we prevent unnecessary waste, protect the environment and help those in need. Because donating food means fewer resources are consumed to produce and transport new food. The Tafel organizations are committed to ensuring that food gets where it belongs: on the table. There are around 2,000 Tafel centers and distribution points in Germany, where the donated food is given to those in need.