Due to their low-threshold offers, the German food-banks do more than the mere distribution of food. The „Tafeln“offer a meeting place for people regardless of their financial means. In Nordhorn, the „Tafel“was founded in 2005. In order to counteract the effects of exclusion through social disadvantage and need, the „Tafel Nordhorn“has continously expanded their offerings. The active team of 170 volunteers, including 50 people with a migrational background and 10 fugitives, organises the daily work. They supply a total of 1200 households. 450 of them are fugitives. Through their "KidsPro" project, the food-bank also organises monthly events for children from socially disadvantaged families such as common cooking or trips to the theatre. In addition, Tafel Nordhorn runs the so-called "Lädchen", a department store in which donated items can be bought by anyone for affordable prices. Another important meeting place is the "Café mittendrin", a joint project with the Baptist church in Nordhorn, where drinks and cakes are offered for little money and where people have a place for contemplation and exchange. The „Tafel Nordhorn“is thus a meeting place for people with different backgrounds, different ages, religions and life experiences and is a place of practiced integration.
Since 2015, however, the proportion of people with migration background has risen sharply, which poses new challenges for the volunteers. Language barriers, misinformation about the offerings and the voluntary work of the German food-banks require an increasing amount of awareness-raising on part of the employees. On 29.04.2019 the team of "Tafel-Vielfalt stärkt" met with the volunteers for an open exchange in which the volunteers described their needs from a personal point of view. The idea for the project "Begegnung durch Green Mobility" was born.
Food-banks in rural areas are all too familiar with the problem of limited mobility. Without well-developed public transportation, many Tafel customers are severely restricted in their freedom of movement, as very few of them can afford a car. To address this problem the „Tafel Nordhorn“has founded a bicycle workshop. Additionally, the volunteers offer courses in repair work and driver safety training. Fugitive and non-fugitive participants attend these courses together. The aim of the project is to further the intercultural competence of the participants and to lay the foundation for common actions and activities. Furthermore, two public cycling tours with subsequent visits to cultural sites are planned. In addition, a venue for socially disadvantaged children and an international visit of the Christmas market will be organised. The final event will be a common Christmas Eve with food from different cultures in the "Café mittendrin".
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