Started in 2020, ThanksGiver Schweiz runs food banks in the Basel area that now serve over 900 people per week.
Laura Rosso, a make-up artist by trade, started ThanksGiver Schweiz during the pandemic. Temporarily grounded from her usual jet-set lifestyle, she found that she had a lot of time on her hands. As someone who thrives on being busy, this was not a welcome respite, and she quickly became restless. She also saw how difficult the pandemic was for people and wanted to give back. For Laura, this organization was always about the act of giving back. She explains, “In every country I lived, the UK, India, South Africa…it was always about the gratitude because I have a fantastic life…and I’m so grateful for it, and you always need to give a little bit back.”
It was with this sentiment that she formed ThanksGiver Schweiz, which she, with the help of many volunteers, have successfully built up to serve 900 people each week with locations in Birsfelden, Muttenz and Zwingen. Patrons of this food bank must first sign up for this service through the Gemeinde, they will then receive a letter which qualifies them to receive food.
ThanksGiver Schweiz has also recently introduced language lessons in German and English on Mondays and Fridays. With this initiative, they hope to foster integration and a sense of community by reducing language barriers.
ThanksGiver Schweiz can only do the fantastic work that they do with the help of their partners. Their main partner is Schweizer Tafel, who provides all the food for their four weekly food bank locations. Schweizer Tafel distributes over 4000 tons of surplus food to social institutions such as homeless shelters, soup kitchens, emergency shelters and other relief organisations. ThanksGiver Schweiz also partners with various other sponsors that help with waste disposal, IT services and other projects.
ThanksGiver Schweiz is completely reliant on the hard work of its volunteers, and they are always looking for more. From Tuesday to Friday they require 10-15 people per day to sort and distribute the food they receive. They are also happy to host corporate team building events and have developed an internship program where students can volunteer and get their school involved in a food drive.
How to get involved
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the Basel community and meet people. ThanksGiver Schweiz also has the added benefit in that it is operated in both English and German and so is the perfect place for someone to volunteer that has not yet mastered German.
The following positions are available. Please visit their Volunteer Page to find out more.
Food Bank Volunteers
sign up online
set up and organize food donations, distribute food and help tidy and clean at the end
Time Slots and Locations
Tuesdays 15:00 - 18:00 Kirchpl. 1, 4132 Muttenz
Wednesdays 13:00 - 17:00 Pestalozzistrasse 4, 4132 Muttenz
Thursdays 14:00 - 17:30 Birsstegweg 5, 4127 Birsfelden
Fridays 14:00 - 17:00 Kirchweg 6 4222 Zwingen
Other Volunteer Positions
Website/Social Media Coordinator
English and German Teachers (Mondays and Fridays)
If you are unable to give your time, but would still like to help, ThanksGiver Schweiz also accepts donations both monetary and in kind. Any amount is welcome, and you can visit their Donations Page to give directly.
They are also happy to accept any un-opened food or toiletries for donation. The time frame for food items is 6 months after their expiry date (as per Swiss regulations) and items can be dropped off at their food bank locations (details below).
Items that are in most demand are:
Olive oil/ cooking oil
I hope this article inspires you to get involved with this fantastic organization. For more details, please visit their website and socials.