Associations that distribute food packages say they still lack basic commodities they should already have had since Belgium has received 88 million euros from the European Union (EU) for that purpose. The essential items still missing from the food banks are milk, flour, rice, noodles and edible oil, Mediahuis dailies reported on Thursday.
“There are shortages throughout Belgium,” parliamentarian Nahima Lanjri is quoted as saying in the dailies. “In the past two years, associations and public social service centres (CPAS) have received only half the goods they ordered.”
The Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V) parliamentarian explained that “orders are made based on the number of beneficiaries” and that “a total of 157,000 persons apply for food packages in Belgium.”
The Office of the Minister in charge of Agriculture and Social Integration, Denis Ducarme (Reformist Movement, MR), admitted that there had been a problem with the public tenders. “Those that were submitted did not conform to the rules,” his spokesman said. “We therefore had to issue a new call for tenders in September.”