Owned by the Blue Cross, the Salvation Army and the City Mission of the Church of Norway, the bank will take unwanted food from grocery stores, wholesalers and producers for distribution.
It estimates that some 3 000 impoverished people in the Norwegian capital will gain access to safe and good-quality provisions which would otherwise be thrown away.
Distributing and serving food is an important part of the help offered by charitable bodies to destitute residents in Oslo, both to help alleviate poverty and to ensure they get social contact.
State secretary (deputy minister) Harald Oskar Buttedahl at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food was present when the Food Bank Cooperative was founded.
Both his ministry and the Ministry of Health and Care Services participated in an action team which studied opportunities for a food bank. This is now due to open in August-September.
“For the first time ever, the three major assistance organisations in Norway have formalised a collaboration,” says Gjermund Stormoen, head of the Food Bank.
“The most exciting aspect of the project is nevertheless that it also embraces retailers and the food industry together with the Kavli Trust.
“Without this broad support, it wouldn’t have been possible to establish the bank. In other words, this represents a real voluntary effort to help the needy.”
Established by Knut Kavli in 1962, the Kavli Trust owns the Kavli food group and distributes a share of its profits. Some NOK 25 million was paid out to humanitarian activities, research and culture in 2012.