Yhteinen Pöytä - Shared Table
Briefly in English

We have lots of surplus food in Finland in all the levels of food production. At the same time we have food aid which is a social political and human problem. Food is wasted when many does not have enough of it. In Finnish food aid not all are hungry, some are also lonely or need other kind of help in their lives. Free food is also a tool to save money to other purposes. Food aid distributors are not used to co-operation in large scale even though their rescourses are few. 

Yhteinen pöytä -action model is founded, funded and owned by the City of Vantaa and Vantaa Parish Union. Our main target group in Vantaa area is the food aid actors/distributors and secondly their customers, the people in need. Main goals are to increase the wellbeing of these people in need by developing the food aid system, its network and ways of distributing food aid, and in doing so increase and develop the use of eatable surplus food.

Yhteinen pöytä has 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 and other kind of free and open activities.

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 also due the efforts of Yhteinen pöytä. In last few years we have had more co-operation and more actors in Finnish scale in developing food aid nationally. 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, more nutritious and good food.

Unfortunately most of our material is still in Finnish, but this PPP below will give you the main idea of our concept. You are welcome to ask more from our Project Manager Hanna Kuisma hanna.kuisma@vantaa.fi