NEWS – Food banks’ reach increased
Not all those in the Netherlands who go hungry turn to the food bank for assistance—either because they don’t know where to find one, or because they don’t dare to. Unfamiliarity, shame, and low literacy skills are often to blame.
In 2019, Dutch food banks will proactively reach out to those people eligible for assistance who are not currently asking for any. That way, they hope to break the taboo and become more accessible. Some food banks have already started doing this in 2018, and their clientele grew exponentially.
A growing number of food banks now provides those in need with food when they first visit. In the weeks following their intake interview, staff members will look into whether the client also meets the admission criteria, making them eligible for structural food bank support.After the VAT increase on basic necessities (from 6% to 9%), Dutch food banks have alleviated their admission criteria. They feel that now is the right time to do so, since an increasing amount of food that would otherwise be wasted is offered for donation instead.It is expected that these initiatives will lead to more people asking for help from the food banks.
Adessium Foundation supports the “Voedselbrigades” (Food Brigades) project, which aims to increase the supply of fresh foodstuffs available at food banks. Each Food Brigade consists of a local or regional initiative by at least one food bank, which then offers a range of fresh foods several times a week. These are collected directly from grocery stores using small-scale logistical solutions, either in addition to or instead of regular regional distribution centers by truck.