The images were taken shortly before closing time on Sunday evening. “What a waste, while people go hungry” is the comment of several Antwerpians on social media.
Panos’s Nele Van Malderen concedes it’s no pretty sight, but she explains only limited quantities are thrown away – up to 2% of turnover. The company says it does seek alternatives. “80% of outlets donate to the charity Too Good To Go, while many also co-operate with foodbanks.
“After the photos appeared we decided to contact the local manager and are looking for a better solution” says Nele.
The Antwerp-Mechelen-Turnhout Foodbank has already offered to come and collect bread and pastries. “The products need to be properly packed. Bread must be unsliced. The rules aren’t too complicated and our outlets can assist. We already work with several local bakers” says Fons Jespers.
The office of Antwerp alderman for the fight against poverty has labelled the snaps “despicable”. The city of Antwerp, for its part, works with Foodsavers that collects excess food products and distributes them via 25 aid initiatives.