Restos du Cœur – the food distribution charity with a strong presence in Belgium – is launching a national appeal for donations to fill the gap in basic necessities and provide food aid, it said in a statement on Monday.
The call goes out in response to the demand for food aid "more than doubling over the past two years", making it difficult to continue providing meals to those in need.
Restos du Cœur provides hot meals to those in need. The organisation served 670,000 meals in 2019, 1,084,000 meals in 2020 and 1,350,871 meals in 2021.
"In two years of the pandemic, the number of meals served has more than doubled," the organisation said, adding that in 2019, "665,151 kg of goods (food and non-food) passed through warehouses of the Restos du Cœur Federation, compared with nearly 900,000 kg in 2021."
- Thousands take to streets of Brussels protesting 'sky-high' energy bills
- Supermarkets need to be more transparent on food prices, says MP
To meet the demand for food aid, the federation is launching its annual "National Food Drive" to replenish stocks. This will take place from 28 February to 31 March 2022 both in physical locations and online.
"Food aid should not exist. However, we are able to help more and more people in need thanks to the support of the general public," said Jean-Gérard Closset, president of Restos du Cœur. "By responding to this appeal, donors are making it possible to provide some relief to people living in precarious conditions. Every donation, large or small, counts more than ever."