The extra money is badly needed, says Leo Wijnbelt from Food Banks Netherlands. According to him, the amount of people dependent on his organization is growing week by week. “Any donation is really more than ever welcome.”
Until now, the food banks in the Netherlands have seen several dozen extra donations come in because of the announced energy compensation. Energy company Vandebron this week informed its customers about the compensation and gave tips to customers who do not need the money. Food Banks Netherlands was one of the organizations mentioned as a possible opportunity to donate.
Wijnbelt expects that people will follow in the near future, who will donate their energy compensation. “I think a lot of people are thinking about it now. Of course, it has not been known for so long. For many people, the Food Bank is a logical goal because we help the poorest.’
So more donations. And it is necessary, because more and more people are dependent on the food bank, indicates Wijnbelt. In recent months, he has also seen more and more workers and pensioners being forced to knock on the door. “These people never expected that they would have to go to the food bank themselves. If it continues like this, there will come a time when we can no longer help everyone.”
What are other energy companies doing?
The energy companies pay the energy compensation in November and December. You can read here how it happens. Vandebron is not the only one thinking about what customers can do with their energy compensation. A tour of some companies:
Eneco: ”We are sure that our customers can decide for themselves whether they want to donate the money or not. We do not send an email with tips. We are still considering putting some suggestions on our website. Many of our customers desperately need this money, but of course it would be great if you could donate it.”
Essence: “It is of course a very nice act if you can donate this money. We are still discussing internally whether we will also actively convey ideas to our customers about donating.”
Vattenfall: ”We give our customers Kansfonds and Energibanken as tips if they want to donate the money. We get a lot of questions about this from customers. Internally, we also have our own fund to which our employees can donate if they wish. Among other things, this money also benefits these purposes.”
Marijn Gelderloos is one of the people who wants to donate her 380 euros in energy compensation. To whom she does not yet know exactly. Sport is very important to Gelderloos and she sees opportunities to donate.
“I am considering approaching a sports club and asking if they know of children who had to stop playing sports because it became too expensive. For example, I also contacted a school principal in my area to ask if she knew if there were any families who were having a hard time.”
In any case, Gelderloos does not need the amount herself, she says. She especially likes being able to help someone, but she wants it to happen anonymously. “I don’t want people to thank me personally. They don’t need to know that I’m the one giving the money.”
The supplement is intended as additional support until the price cap comes into effect in January. We explain how it works in this video:
Kansfonds, which supports initiatives for vulnerable people, also sees how people donate their energy compensation. Meanwhile, they have already raised 92,000 euros with a special campaign.
Director Henriëtte Hulsebosch indicates that he has mixed feelings about this. “It is appalling that it is necessary. That this must be initiated for so many Dutch people. On the other hand, it’s also wonderful to see people donating so massively.”
Diapers and thermal clothing
The money will give the local organizations that Kansfonds works with the opportunity to provide emergency aid, says Hulsebosch. “That way, the people themselves have the opportunity to buy what they really need. For some people it means they can buy diapers for their babies again, for others they can buy thermal clothes to better get through the winter.”
Hulsebosch also expects more donations to come in. According to her, more and more people are realizing how urgent the situation is for many Dutch people. ”There is more and more attention for this group of people and for actions like ours. In addition, the energy compensation has not yet been paid. I expect many more will donate.”
Regardless of how miserable the situation is, Hulsebosch primarily wants to emphasize the positive. “It is of course fantastic to see so many people donating their money. It is heartwarming and shows that solidarity is of vital importance in the Netherlands. In this way, our organizations can help many people.”