Ration Cards for Families with Children Have Appeared in Russia
In November 2020, the Food Card Program for supporting families with children in need started working in Russia. The social initiative was launched by the Foodbank Rus together with Magnit retail chain and Humanventure. The program was also supported by the All-Russia People's Front. Using the ration card, families participating in the program will be able to purchase food worth RUB 1,000 per month.
The new initiative has simple and transparent mechanics: The Foodbank Rus assigns an individual food stamp card to each family in need, the account of which is replenished monthly with 1,000 bonuses. Using bonuses, the family buys food in Magnit stores. 1 bonus point is equivalent to RUB 1.
We understand how important it is to help the most vulnerable categories of the population, and not to be aloof from their problems. Our own large-scale social project #MagnitCare (#МагнитЗабота), which we started implementing in the spring of this year, showed that such support is very important and necessary for Russians. The mechanics of the food stamp card program allow its participants to reduce their food expenses and make purchases in a convenient location due to our wide network of stores.
President and CEO of Magnit
During the testing phase, families are only allowed to purchase food items related to the essential basket. We are talking about such products as cereals, pasta, butter, dairy products, fruits and vegetables. The purchase of alcohol and tobacco products using the ration card is prohibited.
The format of the food stamp card allows you to quickly provide food support to families in almost any region of the country, even in the face of restrictive measures related to coronavirus. Each card is registered in the app, which eliminates the possibility of cashing out funds or their misuse. The Foundation has the opportunity, without disclosing the personal data of our families, to send reports to donors indicating literally all the information from the receipt received when purchasing goods.
President of Foodbank Rus
The following regions were selected as pilot regions participating in the food card program: Saint Petersburg, Rostov and Vladimir regions. Each of these regions has its own regional branch of the Foodbank Rus, which is responsible for selecting the base of families to participate in the program together with the social protection agencies, as well as the regional office of the Commissioner for children's rights in individual subjects.
The all-Russian action We Are Together («Мы вместе») showed how high the need for basic assistance in an emergency situation is. We all saw this people's mutual assistance. And at the same time, we realized that, for example, it is not easy to deliver food packages to every family in need. Especially when you need to do it regularly and for a long time. Therefore, we believe that food stamp card implements a new approach to targeted food aid. At the same time, it is important to ensure transparency of the process so that the partners who support the project are sure that the assistance reaches those who need it in full.
Head of All-Russia People's Front
Now 1,000 families with children have started using food cards, including large families, single-parent families, single mothers, and families with disabled children. Each family becomes a ration card user for a period of 3 to 6 months.
The development of the program involves expanding the network of participating regions and increasing the number of families who have the right to use the food card. The goal of the organizers is to provide assistance to 2 mln families who are declared in need according to Rosstat. Food Card balance is replenished by donations from companies and individuals. On the website продкарта.рф (prodkarta.rf) Russian Federation has already started collecting donations for these purposes.