Number of people needing food aid has risen during emergency situation

Tänavatöö serving soup at Tallinn's Central Market.
Tänavatöö serving soup at Tallinn's Central Market. Source: ERR

The number of people needing food aid during the emergency situation and the resulting economic crisis is increasing as more people are made unemployed, charities are reporting.

The non-profit association Tänavatöö distributes soup to people in need at Tallinn's Central Market every Friday and has seen an increase in visitors. But the charity lacks the equipment to help the increased number of service users.

MTÜ Tänavatöö started distributing soup at the market two and a half years ago and mostly helps homeless people. But now staff are seeing more older people and single mothers, ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Saturday.

Sander Kukk, board member of Tänavatöö, said: "In the last three weeks, we have noticed there are also people who have lost their jobs. They have either been laid off or companies have gone bankrupt."

The emergency situation has changed the way the charity operates and now it also delivers soup as allowing people to eat in their usual tent is forbidden under social distancing rules. Some people bring a jar or pot and take the soup away with them.

Sander Kukk speaking to Aktuaalne kaamera. Source: ETV

On Friday, four thermos flasks, or more than 70 liters of soup, were distributed.

Kukk said it seems the need for more food is growing every week. "We're out from 7 on Friday morning - every Friday morning - and we're there until we run out of soup. In recent weeks, the soup has run out around 9.45 or 9.30."

Currently, the organization cannot distribute more soup as it does not have any more flasks but it is considering buying more. "The Salvation Army is able to make more [soup] and the amount [we serve] definitely needs to be increased," said Kukk.

The soup is made by the Salvation Army and money to make it is collected from donations. Tänavatöö also cooperates with Toidupank, the food bank.

In recent weeks Toidupank has also said it has been helping more people and urgently needs donations.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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