I regularly volunteer for the Foodbank in Amsterdam, called De Voedselbank. This organization is well-known in the Netherlands and runs fully on volunteers. It’s always been a dream for me to help them out, as I have a hard time accepting ‘hidden poverty’ in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, over a million people live in poverty today and the Foodbank tries to serve the group with the least income. Last year, the Foodbank could serve 132.500 people with a package of food on a weekly basis. But (unfortunately) that’s only 5% of all people in need as they can’t serve them all so they need to be strict. Something that hurts my heart…. Food is so important and it’s such a basic need. Within this country, we become richer and richer and the situation as we are in today, with 1 million people living in hidden poverty, shouldn’t be existing.
Some facts about The Foodbank in The Netherlands:
- The amount of Foodbanks in The Netherlands is growing every year due to a growth in poverty
- They have 8 warehouses and 530 distribution points
- 132.500 people get a package from the Foodbank on a regular basis
- 30.000 of them are children under 18 years old
- A box contains 25 different types of groceries and is valued € 35,00
- The costs to create 1 box is € 5,00
At the Dutch Foodbank, 11.000 volunteers work together to hand out 40.000 food-packages a year. I am proud to be part of this team that makes it happen and I love to help them out regularly. I help out with different tasks such as packing (food)boxes in the warehouse, handing out boxes in the city (next week I’ll be doing that for the first time) and I served their Christmas dinner to their clients last Christmas.
But there is so much more to do and you can help out too if you like! Of course you can help out during weekdays to pack the boxes or hand them out. You can book a shift easily on the website of NL-cares or De Voedselbank directly. You can also drive and distribute boxes to their distribution points within the Netherlands, by asking your local Foodbank logistic department. They always need more drivers and strong men than can carry boxes.
Packing boxes is a lot of fun. You work with a group of volunteers and it’s always social and interactive. But the work makes you calm and zen too, which can be an eye opener from your daily (busy) routine. It’s really satisfying to fill so many boxes for distribution and the products can be an interesting part of the job. The coffee breaks are good and sometimes we even get a perfect prepped lunch.
But you can also donate food. As a company you can donate in bulk or as an individual with what you have or with what you can buy. They really need good donations to help more people, so please be kind and find your way to your nearest Foodbank (online) to donate and help. I promise you, giving a box of food will give you a great feeling of satisfaction;-)
At last, you can give by donating money. Donations are more then welcome to keep the operation running smoothly and making sure The Foodbank can help out as many people as possible. You can find out more about how to donate to the organization through their website here. Or maybe you organize a run or a fundraising any time soon. Please keep The Foodbank in mind for that purpose. You can also donate money when you order food online via thuiseten.nl with every meal you order.
If you are in the position, ask your company how they can be of any help. Either with volunteering, donating food, raising money or giving money donations.
And I hope you support their work on their Social Media and outside.