Donations to be distributed by the Banques Alimentaires food bank organization soon! An interview with Didier Seguin, one of the association’s volunteers.
Our second sugar collection drive, run in partnership with Banques Alimentaires, has been a resounding success. Originally launched in 2017, this initiative involves asking employees to donate some of the sugar they receive as a year-end gift to the Banques Alimentaires organization.
We talk to Didier Seguin of the Food Resources department to learn more about this united gesture, which involves most Tereos sites. This former employee of Béghin Say, now a volunteer with Banques Alimentaires, explains how your many donations are used.
[Three questions for Didier Seguin – Volunteer and Food Resources department representative at the Fédération des Banques Alimentaires (French Federation of Food Banks)]
1. What are the Banques Alimentaires for?
The Banques Alimentaires have formed the leading food aid network in France for over 35 years. The organization enables local associations to prepare meals for the poorest families, and distribute goods to vulnerable or isolated people. We receive a wide range of nutritionally balanced donations, allowing disadvantaged people to prepare meals.
Essentially, we play a logistical role by receiving donations through our 79 food banks and 29 satellite food banks in mainland France. They are responsible for the receipt and distribution of goods to local associations, working in particular with CCAS (Centres Communaux d’Action Sociale – French social action community centers). By the way, the sugar collected by Tereos in Lille, for example, is currently being brought back and will be distributed shortly.
Our goal is to get as much stock as possible from companies like Tereos to enable us to use the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) for foodstuffs that are more difficult to obtain, such as proteins.
2. What about donations from Tereos employees?
In total, we receive and distribute approximately 110,000 metric tons of stock each year to help students, the elderly, or isolated people, for example with grocery trucks in hard-to-reach areas, or single-parent families in need.
Tereos employees were generous enough to donate more than 1.6 metric tons of sugar during this collection drive. This is a great start for us, as we need around 500 metric tons of sugar each year to meet demand. Sugar is a vital commodity, just like oil and flour. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Tereos employees on behalf of Banques Alimentaires. I hope this will be the start of a great partnership!
3. What is the next step in the partnership?
We hope this second sugar drive will lead to a third, as well as a long-term collaboration with Tereos! We could also consider staff participation in the annual National Collection or skills-based volunteering, for example.
At the end of each year, we organize a collection drive over several days, across all the country’s megastores. During these drives, we have thousands of volunteers collecting dry goods. This event allows us to collect approximately 10% of what we distribute throughout the year, and we can always use a helping hand.
To find out more about the organization, visit the Banques Alimentaires website.