Pier Luigi Lovisotto faces new challenges every day. He has been working for the Berlin food bank since 2016: Under normal circumstances, the food bank looks after 125,000 people in need every month, supporting them through local food banks and other social facilities, including shelters for the homeless, youth facilities and women's shelters. But circumstances are not normal. "COVID-19 has completely changed the Berlin food bank,” says Pier Luigi Lovisotto.
Monetary donations from our COVID-19 aid package - shelves from our fulfillment center
Since the end of March 2020, the Berlin food bank has changed to a home delivery program. The local food banks had to be closed. Moreover, there recently also was an issue with water damage in the bread storage facility: “We were pretty desperate because we needed new heavy-duty shelves very quickly. They were not only extremely difficult to source, but also extremely expensive.” Help was offered by the nearby Amazon fulfillment center in Brieselang, organized by Amazonian Jennifer Schörnick: “We had the right shelves available and got them ready on pallets for picking up by the Berlin food bank. I have never seen someone so happy about a donation of steel shelves.” - “The shelves were a dream come true for us,” says Luigi Lovisotto.
Almost half a million groceries in 2019 - and around 90,000 since January 2020
The food bank employee receives many offers of help and encouragement these days: “Many volunteers have come forward to offer their help with packing or delivering the food parcels. Incredible solidarity!” Companies are also offering help. Amazon supports the Berlin food bank with a five-figure donation from a COVID-19 aid package for local organizations as well as with ongoing food donations. In 2019 alone, approximately half a million products and bulk packs of groceries were donated.
“The Berlin Food Bank helps people who otherwise receive no help elsewhere during this time of crisis. I am glad that we at Amazon can do our part.”
Timo Pompe from Amazon Fresh in Berlin coordinates the food donations to the Berlin food bank. “We have been working very closely with the Berlin food bank since the launch of Amazon Fresh three years ago. We all know each other very well now, the cooperation is going great.” The Berlin food bank visits the Amazon distribution center in the Reinickendorf every day. There the vehicle is loaded with groceries, including chilled goods such as dairy products and meat, but also fruit and vegetables, pasta and much more. “A lot of groceries are being ordered online at the moment, but our deliveries to the food bank are ongoing. Today we even filled two vehicles with groceries,” says Timo. Since the beginning of this year, he has dispatched around 90,000 food items to people who desperately need support via the Berlin Food Bank: families in need, pensioners with low incomes, or social welfare recipients. Timo Pompe: “The Berlin Food Bank helps people who otherwise receive no help elsewhere during this time of crisis. I am glad that we at Amazon can do our part."