We have enormous amount of surplus food in Finland in all the levels of food production. At the same time we have lots of bread lines which is a huge social political and human problem. Food is wasted when many does not have enough of it. This is also a global problem.
Yhteinen pöytä -action model is founded, funded and owned by the City of Vantaa and Vantaa Parish Union. Our main target group is the socially excluded people in the fields of food aid. We have created an innovative, centralized and efficient way of delivering/logisticating surplus food from food factories, wholesalers and retailers to a large network of food aid distributors (f.e. congregations, NGOs and citizen centers in Vantaa area). This large network gives away the food aid and organizes community lunches.
Sustainable food system includes also welfare influences in health, nutrition, food safety and societies. Eating together is an everyday social action and can strengthen communities. Equality are an important part of the idea of the circular economy and welfare of the people an important outcome.
Surplus food and its volumes has become a bit more visible in public discussion due the efforts and two big actors of Yhteinen pöytä. Traditional, small food aid actors are not as well positioned to join the nation wade discussion. Model is applicable to other cities and parish unions.
Efficient utilization of surplus food is inevitably also part of the unsustainable surplus problem and makes it easier to forget the fact that first of all surplus food should be reduced in all levels of food production and distribution. That is why Yhteinen pöytä also wants to
- increase discussion of surplus food and its comprehensive reduction and
- socially sustainable ways of utilization
- create new kind of food aid; more community and welfare based solutions
- where people get meaningful jobs to do - payed or voluntary (subsidiced employment)
- has created high-quality and food safe logistics of surplus food
- make sure that also the socially excluded people eat safe, nutritious and good food.