The idea of the panels is an integral part of the neoliberal policy and at the same time a cheap concept for waste disposal, because the focus is on the products of the panels goods whose expiration date has been reached or exceeded and which therefore may no longer be sold. Since the disposal by delivery to the boards is Cheaper Than a chargeable disposal on the garbage. Not even transport costs arise because the boards pick up the food.
The number of people who pick up food at the 940 food tables in Germany has been increasing continuously for years. In 2019, it increased by 10 percent to 1.65 million people, ten percent more than in the previous year. Since the beginning of the “Tafelbewegung” (“table movement”), which was initiated by the major global management consultancies, the state authorities have strongly promoted the institutionalization of the tables, also in order to keep the measurement of benefits for payments according to the social code II / Hartz-IV as low as possible.
McKinsey, the Global Management Consultancy, now has a lot of experience with the social system in Germany. She is also responsible for the dismissal of hundreds of thousands of people who were employed in the company she advised. McKinsey also played a major role in the Hartz concept and was a member of the Hartz Commission.
The motto is always that social benefits and corporate taxes must be reduced.
Panels as a result of a failed social policy
From a socio-political point of view, this comprehensive table offer is extremely problematic, since
poverty can be alleviated with the issue of food, but poverty and its causes cannot be eliminated in this way,
the panels as emergency aid reduce the pressure on politics to reduce the causes of poverty,
it prevents that a poverty-free, needs-based and existence-securing minimum security is guaranteed, which makes the tables and other charitable offers in the future superfluous,
they provide only pure survival aid and emergency care, they prevent an ability to open up available action perspectives to the needy, which have an effect beyond the relief of acute distress,
the panel work in the media coverage and the public appears as sufficient protection against poverty, its widespread spread conveys the impression of a complete and sufficient supply of aid, which in reality, however, only reaches a fraction of the needy and lets the actual fight against poverty recede into the background,
it slows down people to stand up for conditions that place the” idea of competence “at the centre and support the social code’s claim to “self-determined participation” ,
what occurred was what thought leaders of the table movement wanted, namely that the state with reference to civil society has gradually withdrawn from the services of general interest of its citizens and will continue to withdraw,
the state cuts its resources in response to the help provided by the boards, because, for example, § 9 SGB i says: “those who are not able to make a living by their own efforts or to help themselves in special circumstances, and who do not receive sufficient help from others, have a right to personal and economic help that meets their special needs, enables them to help themselves, enables them to participate in life in the community and ensures the conduct of a decent life. In this case, beneficiaries must cooperate according to their powers”,
the existence and expansion of welfare state security systems and the establishment of professional, professionally qualified social work presupposes the abolition of charitable gifts based on Chance and associated dependencies for needy people. The accidental possible assistance must be opposed to individual rights, which ensure the participation of all members of society,
because food costs can be saved, tables enable needy people to consume goods for a fee, which should actually be taken into account in the shopping cart. The so-called Basket is used for the determination of the standard rate height,
according to the Bundesverband Deutsche Tafel E.V. of the approximately 9 million people who depend on social benefits in Germany, about 1 Million go to the Tafel. The panels view these 8 million people as” unexploited potential " and carry out corresponding acquisitions. The “customer loyalty” of boards serves solely to maintain neediness and is the opposite of a structural poverty reduction,
instead of working towards the abolition of poverty, the panels participate in a division of society into rich and poor, the long queue in front of the dispensaries signal to all people that our social system allows such a thing and that you can quickly become a user of the panels and then belong to” those”
and the large influx to the panels is the sign of a failed social policy in general. A social policy that is responsible for the fact that large parts of our society are excluded from equal participation, keeps these people materially short and then permanently patronizes, humiliates and Sanctions them with the social code II.
Life as a board - " customer”
However, you get an insight into the practice of table work when the users of the table have their say. Then you hear that
it is something completely different than going shopping in the supermarket,
people usually have to wait in the queue, sometimes for half an hour, sometimes for up to two and a half hours, sometimes they may have to stand in the rain or go to the toilet,
the order is regulated with numbers,
when it is the turn of the table visitors, they are not allowed to choose for themselves, but they get food packed into their pockets by the helpers,
the goods are thrown into the bag, you can not look at them or ask questions,
sometimes there are goods that customers cannot eat for health reasons,
there is often only the same vegetable for 3 weeks,
the volunteer Table workers are often described as reserved and unfriendly ,
the helpers can also determine who receives how many foods,
“modesty and humility” is expected from users,
you enter into a passive and impotent role,
you feel ashamed,
the” means test " is shameful, users must present their Hartz IV or pension notification in order to get food
and that everyone is aware of the fact that this is a friendly gift that can also fail.
It is amazing that such a movement as the table movement has grown across the board with the help of a management consulting firm. Cheered on by the media, it was also suggested that anyone who is not well can use the tablet in case of need and he is “fed through”. The high acceptance of the panels among the population is the result of a Mission that wanted to demonstrate the welfare state in order to discredit “social romantics” who advocate the welfare state.
If the state, represented by the parliaments in the federal government and in the federal states, were to take the welfare state requirement of the basic law seriously, it would have to ensure through its legislation that food donations to the needy by civil society organizations and welfare associations do not have to exist.