Center Party MP Andrei Korobeinik, whose mandate as a member was terminated upon the former minister of education and research Mailis Reps returning to the Riigikogu and reinstated a few days later, has donated his €20,369 termination pay to the Estonian Food Bank.
Korobeinik asked his Facebook followers to decide to whom the termination pay should be given and 13,000 replied. Approximately 95 percent said the compensation should be donated to the Food Bank.
Korobeinik said that the solution to the problem of food shortage should not be based on donations alone but also on the rational use of food.
"Estonian retailers and wholesalers of food throw away some 13 million kilograms of food each year - that is 10 kilograms per resident or 50 kilograms per one person in need of help. Thus far, only around 10 percent of this food is being saved, but there is still twice as much potential for doing so. Meanwhile, the Food Bank cannot help all those in need - this is a completely absurd situation," he added.
Korobeinik underscored in this connection the importance of both legislation and various parties' willingness to cooperate.
"In other states, such as France, large stores are not allowed to throw away food they haven't been able to sell. Donating food reduces poverty and is environmentally sustainable. The situation is slowly improving in Estonia but we still have a long way to go," he noted.
Head of the Estonian Food Bank Piet Boerefijn said."The workload of the Food Bank has grown significantly under the circumstances of the coronavirus, unlike the resources we have at our disposal. Today, each donation counts, be it €20,000 or €5."
Boerefijn noted that the number of people in need of assistance can be expected to increase in the near future.
"The labor market situation remains difficult, and the number of families turning to us is increasing. We greatly appreciate the decision by Andrei and his readers to support the Food Bank - with this money, we can help some 4,800 families," he said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino