The panel in Duisburg has been struggling hard since the Corona and Ukraine crises. In addition to food and money, there is also a lack of volunteers to help with the distribution of food.
However, the head of the board notices Duisburg, Günter Spikofski, also a positive development. In an interview with DER WESTEN, he wants to express his gratitude to those who once again pulled the cart out of the mud.
Duisburg: Tafel-Chef is clear – without YOU it would have been over
A donation-based organization depends primarily on two things: donations and volunteers. And the Duisburger Tafel is currently lacking in both. Before Corona, 150 people worked here. “On the day of the lockdown, we sent a large part home,” says Günter Spikofski. And two days later it was only 30.
“Now it’s slowly getting better again,” said the 62-year-old head of the facility. Currently he could have increased to almost 130 employees. “That’s very good.” After the holidays and with a view to the pre-Christmas period, experience has shown that more and more people would get in touch. “The willingness to help and donate is always a bit greater there.” However, he assumes that this year it will be “much smaller”.
Duisburg: Tafel-Chef has YOU to thank for everything – “Could have closed the shop”
Mr. Spikofski is particularly grateful to one group. “Fridays for Future really blew us away,” he sighs in an interview with DER WESTEN. The action group had heard about the staff crisis and as a result some volunteered. “And then they really stood here every day with three, four, five, six people on the mat and did everything here.”
And with that they have turned things around again, the table chef is sure. “If they hadn’t been there, we could have closed the shop.” That’s why he also wanted to sing a “hymn of praise to the young people”. In fact, not all of the volunteers in his facility would be seniors.
Duisburg: Tafel boss surprised by THIS development – ”Pretty great”
Surprisingly, Mr. Spikofski notes the trend that more and more young people are interested in voluntary work at the Tafel. A young woman is currently bridging the gap between her graduation and her job in the new year, while another is working alongside her studies during her semester breaks. “There are quite a few of them,” says the 62-year-old. Some of Fridays for Future are still working here on a voluntary basis. He thinks it’s “pretty great”.
When talking to other Tafel leaders, he doesn’t notice this trend at all. Most recently, he had spoken to someone who would otherwise only work for 70-year-olds or older. He said: “A young man would have started with him too, he was only sixty,” laughs Mr. Spikofski heartily.
Duisburg: Tafel with Ukraine refugees overwhelmed – “Basically a disaster”
In the meantime, many migrants are also employed at the Tafel. The volunteers come from 22 different nations, says Mr. Spikofski proudly. Only the Ukrainians are underrepresented, which is also a big problem. “Our accountant is Russian-German and that’s the only woman who speaks the language.” Actually, he should fire her as an accountant and hire her as an interpreter, jokes Mr. Spikofski.
But then he gets serious again. “It’s basically a disaster.” With the large influx of Ukrainian refugees, the employee would have plenty to do. “What the colleague has already had to suffer here,” he regrets.
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In the meantime it has become quieter, but in the meantime the phone has rang around 120 times a day. “And we don’t have a switchboard here.” Only two volunteers take care of the callers here. And they have to say the same thing over and over again: “Sorry, we can’t”. Because the board has not been able to accept new customers since September. You can find out why in the second part of the interview with the Duisburg Tafel boss.