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Trojan Bottles | Frankfurt's way to feed their homeless and needy

Updated: Jul 4

For the first time in Frankfurt, Germany's Financial Heart, more than half of its residents now have a migrant background, according to official data from the city’s Office of Statistics and Elections.

Presenting the figures, which show that 51.2 per cent of people living in Frankfurt have a migrant background, the city’s secretary of integration Sylvia Weber said: “We have minorities with relatively large numbers in Frankfurt but no group with a clear majority.”

Representing 13 per cent of the population, Turks are the city’s largest non-German minority, and 61 per cent of residents who were born abroad are citizens of other European Union (EU) countries.

NOTE that the Frankfurt Integration and Diversity Monitoring, a 200-page report, was released in 2012, years before migrants from the Middle East started to flood Europe in 2015, with most of them heading for Germany.

The report is to provide a basis for the city to respond to inequalities, for example with regards to employment, education, or housing.

„Message on a bottle“

More than 500,000 people in Germany are living below the poverty line – and that number is rising.

German "Gutmenschen" - How they neglect their own people

Many of them are too embarrassed to claim benefits or simply don’t know how to go about it. So instead, they gather a little money to cover their most urgent needs by collecting empty bottles with refundable deposits that have been carelessly thrown away.

The 'Frankfurter Tafel e.V' found a way to approach these people in need and make them aware of the help offered by the Frankfurt Food Bank without offending their pride and their human dignity.

The campaign is reported on local and regional TV channels, radio, online and in the printed press. As a result a wide public awareness of the “message in a bottle” campaign and a Food Bank that is now able to help even more people in need.

Conventional advertising is out of place here. This is why the Frankfurt Food Bank uses deposit bottle collection to convey its message. Throughout the city, it distributes specially prepared bottles, which at first glance look like real deposit bottles..

Anyone who pulls out one of these “messages in a bottle” and looks closer will see that one can receive a food bag in exchange for the bottle from any of the numerous Food Bank distribution centers in Frankfurt. The German name for the Food Bank is “Tafel”. All bottles are labelled “Tafelwasser” which means “table water” as well as “water from the Food Bank”.

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