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Feeding forward in California

Every day, 263 million pounds of consumable food is thrown away in the United States – enough to fill a football stadium to the brim. At the same time, nearly one in six adults doesn’t know where their next meal will come from.

As president of Feeding Forward, a non-profit organization that fights food waste and hunger in the local San Francisco Bay Area, Chloe Tsang is working to change that.

The 20-year old student at UC Berkeley spends her spare time overseeing the website and app Feeding Forward created to make private food donations quick and easy.

Listen to the report by Anne-Sophie Brändlin in Berkeley, California:

Anyone who has more than 10 pounds of leftover food can snap a picture of it and post it to the website or the app. Feeding Forward then takes care of the rest. (Foto: Feeding Forward)

Anyone who has more than 10 pounds of leftover food can snap a picture of it and post it to the website or the app. Feeding Forward then takes care of the rest. (Photo: Feeding Forward)

Chloe Tsang convinced Samuel Hernandez, the supervisor of Golden Bear Café at the UC Berkeley campus, to donate leftover food through Feeding Forward’s website (Photo: Anne-Sophie Brändlin)

Chloe Tsang convinced Samuel Hernandez, the supervisor of Golden Bear Café at the UC Berkeley campus, to donate leftover food through Feeding Forward’s website (Photo: Anne-Sophie Brändlin)

 

 

Date

Friday 27.12.2013 | 10:32

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A heart for the homeless

Kevin Hofmann, 22, spends a lot of time in cafes, where he likes to read books. When he noticed how much food his regular cafe was throwing away after closing time, he felt he had to take action. Now he regularly collects the unsold sandwiches and cookies and passes them out to the homeless people in his city, Bonn.

Germany has plenty of soup kitchens and shelters. But Kevin says why leave the work to other people? Instead, he’s taking responsibility himself – and breaking out of the apathetic stereotype of his generation.

Listen to the report by Nuradin Abdi in Bonn:

A heart for the homeless

Kevin Hofmann

Kevin was tired of seeing so much waste at his favorite cafés. (Photo: N. Abdi)

Alexandra and Kevin

It’s taken a while for Kevin to gain the trust of the homeless people he distributes food too, but now Alexandra (left) is one of the people he meets regularly in downtown Bonn. (Photo: N. Abdi)

Kevin Hofmann in a cafe

Kevin has always enjoyed reading in cafes. (Photo: N. Abdi)

 

Date

Tuesday 19.11.2013 | 13:49

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Homeless worker in Bonn

Although unemployment levels remain low in Germany, and the economy is generally doing well compared to the rest of Europe, the number of homeless people in Germany started rising again this last winter. For our Generation Change segment this week, our reporter André Leslie got to know a young man by the name of Markus Baldus, who is doing what he can help the homeless and the down and out, in the western German city of Bonn.

Listen to the report:
Generation Change: Homeless worker in Bonn

Watch the video:

Date

Tuesday 20.03.2012 | 17:48

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Belgian woman sweetens life for homeless during Ramadan

Yasmina is a 24-year-old accountant from Brussels. During the month of Ramadan, she and her friends provide food for homeless people living in the city’s North Station.

Belgian woman sweetens life for homeless during Ramadan

Homeless children in Brussels

The children look forward to greeting Yasmina



DW reporter Yaldaz Sadakova in Brussels shares her experience meeting up with Yasmina:

I literally stumbled upon the story about Yasmina helping homeless people. It happened because I live not too far from the notorious Gare du Nord – or North Station. If you’re visiting Brussels, it’s one of the places the locals warn you to stay away from at night. It’s right by the city’s famous red light district.

I was coming home on a recent evening and for some reason decided to walk right by Gare du Nord, something I never do because it’s a detour for me.

And then I saw all the commotion – a line of homeless people waiting for food. Three young women in trendy clothes were handing out plates of macaroni and cheese.

“Want something to eat?” one of the homeless men said to me, motioning towards the line.

I assumed the women handing out food were social workers. But turned out they’re a group of friends who do this not because they belong to an organization, but just because they want to. As observant Muslims, they chose to do it during Ramadan, the month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims are supposed to do charitable things. They did it last year, too.

So, naturally, reporting this story was a fresh reminder that you don’t need to wait for someone to give you permission to make a difference. That you don’t have to start with something big – every small thing matters. That you don’t have to reach a certain age and acquire a certain amount of experience – all these women were in their early 20s.

Doing this story was also a painful reminder about how pervasive homelessness is in this city. According to official estimates, about 2,000 homeless people live here. But experts say this number is likely higher. Just a walk around downtown Brussels and the city’s other train stations would definitely confirm that.

Many of these homeless people appear to be migrants, especially from Eastern Europe, who have either lost their jobs or still haven’t found any. For example, the majority of the people helped by Yasmina and her friends are from Slovakia.

They seem to be hungry for attention. When I spoke to them, they tried to emphasize in their broken English how hard it is back home where they said they face discrimination as members of the Roma community – and how hard it is here in Belgium, where they can’t find jobs because they don’t speak the local language.

Quite depressing, especially when you consider that they’re here with their kids, who are mostly toddlers. They are, by the way, some of the most affectionate children I’ve ever met. I think the visits of Yasmina and her friends are the highlights of their day. They jump and scream around the women and grab their legs and clothes. Their faces may be caked with snot and food, but at those particular moments, they’re beaming.

Yasmina responds to them with hugs. I think that on some level, her affection does more for these kids than the actual food.

So I’m considering changing my route and walking by Gare du Nord on my way home more often. Hopefully, soon enough, I won’t be seeing these families as they get a fresh start in Brussels. But sadly, they will likely be replaced by new ones.

Date

Wednesday 31.08.2011 | 12:23

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