Fundraising initiative aims to boost Toidupank during coronavirus crisis

Toidupank/Circle of Kindness personnel at a donation drive last summer.
Toidupank/Circle of Kindness personnel at a donation drive last summer. Source: Circle of Kindness/Toidupank

A new initiative aimed and raising funds for food bank voluntary organization Toidupank has been launched.

The initiative, called Circle of Kindness (Headusering), is to also provide administrative support for Toidupank (Estonian Food Bank), whose services have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Over the years, Toidupank has done tremendous job by helping and supplying less privileged members of the society, with the support of volunteers, as well as of people and organisations who have donated food and funds," said Padma Devi Foundation board member Indrek Kaing.

Padma Devi Foundation MTÜ is a charity set up by businessman Sonny Aswani. The charity has provided an initial contribution of €25,000 towards Circle of Kindness.

"Due to the pandemic, even more efforts could be required from Toidupank. For securing ongoing flow of donations and supporting the organisation in donor relations, the foundation launched Circle of Kindness", Kaing continued, in a Circle of Kindness/Toidupank press release.

Kaing said that donated food has recently become harder to come by for Toidupank, due to the pandemic and the emergency situation declared by the Estonian government on March 12.

This is twinned with potential declines in living standards in the challenging economic situation, which might simultaneously lead to lower donation activity as well as potentially higher numbers of people requiring Toidupank's aid.

Toidupank has its main warehouse in Tallinn and centers nationwide. Prior to the emergency situation, whose restrictions included the closure of most stores inside shopping malls, it often collected food donated by the public at collection points in supermarkets. Additionally, restaurants and other eateries hit by the economic effects of the pandemic will have less in the way of spare food to donate than was previously the case.

Indrek Kaing also said that donations were welcome, with food possibly being sourced directly from food companies rather than stores etc.

"Circle of Kindness would like to address companies and other organisations to make financial donations to Toidupank. For the funds collected, we also expect to purchase large quantities of food products directly from Estonian food processing companies, to be distributed by Toidupank," he said.

The Circle of Kindness initiative aims to facilitate financial donations to Toidupank via companies and other larger donors. As noted the project was set up by Padma Devi Foundation, with an initial contribution of €25,000. Circle of Kindness is also endorsed by U.K. Ambassador to Estonia, Theresa Bubbear.

Padma Devi Foundation MTÜ was founded in 2002 by entrepreneur Sonny Aswani, the foundation being named after his mother, Padma Devi. Along with Aswani and Kaing, the foundation's every day operations are managed by Eva Maran and Sirli Väinsar.

Toidupank was established in 2010 by Dutch national Piet Boerefijn, to help prevent food waste and fight poverty, and works every day to rescue food from supermarkets, food producers and importers which would otherwise have gone to waste, and involving the local community.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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