A huge increase in food aid recipients in Estonia

The number of food aid recipients in Estonia increased by 65% in the second quarter of this year – another sign of the worsening circumstances more Estonian people find themselves in.

According to the Estonian social affairs ministry, the number of food aid recipients increased by almost 14,000 in the second quarter – or 65% (there’s no data yet for the third quarter – July, August and September).

A total of 35,328 food parcels were distributed in August and September by the state; the distribution is organised by the Estonian-Dutch Charity Foundation, or Estonian Food Bank, across the country.

Liisa Rebane-Mäe from the Estonian Food Bank said the organisation had distributed more food parcels in the first nine months than in the whole of last year – the largest distribution of food aid to the largest number of people in need ever in Estonia.

“The Food Bank works largely with the help of volunteers, which is why we are looking for people all over Estonia who are willing to help to assemble and distribute food parcels,” Rebane-Mäe said in a statement.

The list of recipients of the food aid is drawn up on the basis of applications for and recipients of the subsistence allowance and local government benefits. “To apply for these, people should contact the social worker of the local government where they live. People without a fixed place of residence in homeless shelters also receive food aid,” the social ministry said.

In addition to dry goods, the food package also includes tinned meat, tea, honey, muesli bars, raisins, nuts and biscuits.

More people in Estonia face hardship, as the country tackles the largest inflation in the eurozone, with electricity prices 206% higher than a year earlier and natural gas prices up by 244%.

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