National Day of Giving: Companies, CSOs, Media and Citizens United to “Save Food, Save Humanity”

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National Day of Giving: Companies, CSOs, Media and Citizens United to “Save Food, Save Humanity”
National day of Giving event
Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

BELGRADE – On October 9, 2021, the Coalition for Giving and the Serbian Philanthropy Forum marked the fourth National Day of Giving, with support from the United States Agency of International Development (USAID), by recognizing 34 companies, 12 civil society organizations and 12 media outlets that have contributed the most to the “Save Food, Save Humanity” campaign, or supported initiatives within the campaign.

“This year's theme of advancing food donations and reducing food waste strongly aligns with core American values and traditions that we cherish deeply and put into practice every day,” said Anthony F. Godfrey, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia.

The recognized companies have supported the National Day of Giving and the campaign through generous monetary and/or food donations which will be directed at providing packages of essential food items to Serbia’s most vulnerable citizens. Many of the organizations and companies also supported the campaign by providing media space to promote the messages and help increase public awareness of the ongoing problem of food waste. As part of the awareness raising campaign, members of the media worked with famous chefs and restaurants to prepare lunch packs for the vulnerable, while several companies invited their staff to collect food items to contribute to the initiative. While it is expected within this campaign to collect enough food to satisfy basic needs of thousands of people in the next few months, the ultimate goal is to ensure that, in the future, food donations can become a reliable source of food for those who need it. 

“Wise people say that life gives us as much as we are ready to give to others, and that a wealthy person is the one who is ready and willing to help others. These are the principles on which we are building a better, humane and solidary society,” said Darija Kisić Tepavčević, Minister of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia.

The campaign will run until mid-November in case other interested companies or organizations wish to join and contribute.

Also, during the event organized in Ilija M. Kolarac Endowment today, five paintings created by students of the Faculty of Applied Arts have been presented. The art pieces will be gifted to the selected companies which gave the exceptional support to the campaign.

While 480,000 people in Serbia live on the edge of absolute poverty, an estimated two million kilograms of food are being wasted daily. Despite the fact that food donations are increasing, and food producers and merchants want to donate surplus food to soup kitchens, food banks and charities, the amount of food donated still makes up only a small portion of the total surplus edible food available in Serbia. An analysis conducted by the Responsible Business Forum and the Coalition for Giving shows that food donations in Serbia could increase annually by a value of nearly 160 million dinars (to a total of 700 million dinars), if the VAT on food donations were to be abolished.

“We are especially proud that so many organizations from different sectors joined the campaign and supported National Day of Giving, we are truly stronger together. However, the real difference would be made once the problem with VAT on food donations is resolved,” said Veran Matić, Executive Director, Serbian Philanthropy Forum.

The list of all the companies, CSOs and the media recognized today for their contribution to the campaign is available here. For more information about the “Save Food, Save Humanity” campaign, please see http://spasimohranu.rs/

The National Giving Day is part of the Framework for Giving project, supported by USAID and implemented by the Coalition for Giving, led by the Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation. Other members of the Coalition are the Trag Foundation, Catalyst Balkans, SMART Kolektiv, the Serbian Philanthropy Forum, the Responsible Business Forum, and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Last updated: November 23, 2021

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