Belgrade, 19 October 2019 - For the first time in Serbia food donation will be only a click away, thanks to the new digital platform which will facilitate greater volumes of food to be donated, thereby also increasing the number of Belgrade Food Bank beneficiaries receiving meals.

The digital platform will be implemented jointly by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the company Delhaize Serbia, which decided in this manner to upgrade the project „Helping Those in Need “. The project has been implemented since 2015 in 35 cities and towns across Serbia, and thanks to it 9,000 socially vulnerable citizens receive food every day from over 70 organisations using the Food Bank.  

So far more than 3,000 tons of food has been donated. Through this project, the company Delhaize Serbia and the Belgrade Food Bank have established the principle of using food surpluses in a manner that has been practiced across Europe for years.

The new digital food donation platform in Serbia is being developed by the UNDP IT Team in order to make it accessible for use by all companies which wish to join this initiative. The donation of surplus food contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the SGD 2 – World without hunger, and SGD 12 – Responsible consumption and production, while at the same time it contributes to reducing the harmful greenhouse gasses emissions (GHG) produced by organic waste.

After the introductory remarks by Slavica Đukić Dejanović, minister without portfolio in charge of demographic and population policy, the panel discussion „A click to food donation”, was addressed by Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative to Serbia, Radmila Ivetić, President of the Belgrade Food Bank Association, and Milana Jević Gledović, Vice-President for legal affairs and resource protection of Delhaize Serbia. The panel also presented the digital platform which is to be launched in June next year.  

Platform mock-up

Minister Slavica Đukić Dejanović and representatives of the UNDP and the Food Bank had the opportunity to visit the Maxi Alonso supermarket to learn about the food donation process. They also met with representatives of NGO „Living Together” (“Živimo zajedno“) and talked about the relevance of this project and support by socially responsible companies.

On this opportunity the representatives of the Delhaize Serbia and UNDP signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to develop the joint online platform.

„Our company has been implementing the fruit and vegetables donation project for four years and we are strategically managing food surpluses. Now, with the support of our UNDP partners we are in a position to develop a model which will, on the one side, simplify the food donation process for the final users, and will also involve a greater number of humanitarian organisations and be sustainable“, stated Milana Jević Gledović, Vice-President for legal affairs and resource protection of Delhaize Serbia.

„UNDP is working with the Government of Serbia, civil society organisations such as the Food Bank, and private sector companies, in order to reduce food waste. Less food waste means also less hunger, which leads to reducing poverty, inequality and harmful impacts on the environment. Donating food surpluses contributes to responsible use of resources, circular economy and reducing GHG emissions, while at the same time contributing to achieving a number of sustainable development goals. Delhaize is a good example, and we are inviting other companies to join “, said Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia.

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