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Food aid

People who are struggling due to low or no income are eligible for food aid.

There are many options to receive food aid:

  • Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD)
  • Food aid provided by Tallinn
  • soup kitchen

Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) Food aid guaranteed by the government and distributed by the Estonian Food Bank four times a year. The food package is diverse and large, weighing over 7 kilogrammes. It consists of grains (for porridge), meat and fish products (canned), sweets, sweeteners (sugar, honey), coffee, tea, cacao, etc.

You are eligible if:

  • you have received subsistence support in the period between food package distributions;
  • you have applied for subsistence support in the period between food package distributions but your local city government rejected the application for reasons not related to your income (e.g. you are unemployed but refused to register with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund);
  • you have been an applicant of subsistence support in the period between food package distributions but your income after deducting housing expenditures is up to 15% higher than the subsistence level;
  • you have received either income-based benefits or aid for compensating the cost of a specific service from your local city district government;
  • you have resided in a shelter (homeless night shelter).

For example,people who meet the foregoing criteria in February, March or April, will receive a food package in May; those who meet the criteria in May, June or July, will receive a food package in August. There is not a separate application for FEAD; you are automatically eligible if you meet the aforementioned criteria. You can read more about FEAD on the Ministry of Social Affairs’ website.

Food aid provided by Tallinn

Since FEAD’s food aid is only distributed four times a year, Tallinn in cooperation with the Estonian Food Bank also offers food aid to those who need it in the meantime. Food aid is intended for people and families on low income and is given according to the family’s income. Although the criteria for receiving food aid is at large the same as it is for FEAD (it is mostly for people who receive other income-based benefits), we can approach the individual situation of people and families more flexibly and offer temporary aid to those who do not receive food aid from FEAD.

To receive food aid, you must contact the social welfare departamnet of the city district of your place of residence as it is stated in the Population Registry who will then asses your need and justification for food aid.

Soup kitchen Soup kitchens are meant for people who do not have sufficient means to ensure food for themselves or their families. The purpose of this service is to ensure a warm meal for everyone in need.

You can find soup kitchens at the following addresses:

JK Tavern Soup Kitchen at Pae 19 where you can eat on site. The soup kitchen is open to everyone on low income struggling to pay for food. An average of 150 people get help daily. You can receive a warm meal (0.5 litres of soup and 100 grams of bread) every day from 12:00-14:30 at the soup kitchen.

Salvation Army Estonia’s Rehabilitation Centre Hope Houseat Laevastiku 1a. The soup kitchen is open to everyone on low income struggling to pay for food. The soup kitchen is open from 11:00-13:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can also take bread with you from the soup kitchen.