The food bank Leidschendam-Voorburg can use all the help

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Leidschendam-Voorburg – There is no shortage of national publicity, food banks are regularly in the news. But how is the Leidschendam-Voorburg Food Bank doing? Collaborating foreman Jim Sabiran and Rob Kuipers, chairman of the Food Bank, explain the current situation.

By Miranda Filius

“Greater demand, less supply and poor quality, that is the reality now. We see that more and more families with children are calling us. Of these, 211 are children under the age of 18. I remember when I started at the Food Bank half a year ago, I was told that we distributed around 140 food parcels a week. Now we distribute 220 packages; an increase of as much as 50 per cent. But it is not just the increase in the number of applications that is worrying, the supply of food is also a cause for concern,’ says Rob.

He continues: “We ask the supermarkets if they are willing to give us the fresh leftovers. And they will, but they must also participate in the supermarket chain’s national policy, which is efficient purchasing to prevent waste. Unfortunately, giving away to the Food Bank is also seen as waste, and I think that’s a shame. From a social point of view, it is not a waste at all.” The work foreman Jim has worked at the Food Bank for 10 years: “What is left of fresh produce at the end of the day is sold at a significant discount, but it does not always end up with the people who need it most.”

Rob: “We have three problems: There is a huge increase in the number of people who need the Food Bank. And realize that they really need it. Secondly, there is less and less left over via supermarkets. And thirdly, that reduction usually relates to fresh healthy products. So packages also become less healthy, less fresh and therefore less nutritious. Everything we have we give to the people. But we would rather give fruit and good bread than give candy.” Jim: “And yet we also give candy, which is a bonus for kids.”

Jim: “In addition to the lunch package, we also have a social function. Our volunteers are so friendly that they chat with anyone who wants to. You see people come out of their shell as a result. Customers only come to us through debt advisors and agencies. It is good to know that the food banks are based on the principle, no package without a route.”

Rob: “Times are changing, more and more people are calling us. It has traditionally been not finished so that we can buy food. But our highest goal is a nutritious package. Therefore, we are now forced by circumstances to buy fruit and vegetables every week. We now collaborate with a local supplier who buys from us at a very competitive price. But yes, to buy structurally you also need structural sponsors. Local citizens and entrepreneurs who – preferably monthly or annually – have something left over to support us.

It is nice to add that they are now in negotiations with the municipality to go to the Voorburg market with some regularity so that people can donate products they have bought at the market or what they have left at home. But vouchers are also very welcome, for example from the Postal Code Lottery or Douwe Egberts points.”

Jim: “People and local entrepreneurs can help us in all sorts of ways. Donate money or food, vouchers, Christmas packages, campaigns in churches, schools and sports clubs.”
Rob: “On Saturday 10 December we are organizing another collection campaign in four supermarkets: Albert Heijn in Mall of The Netherlands, Jumbo and Albert Heijn on Julianaplein in Voorburg and Hoogvliet on Damlaan in Leidschendam. These actions are needed more than ever!

Would you also like to contribute? This is possible with initiatives, but also with money on NL03 ABNA 0613 583 221 in the name of the Food Bank LV. More information at www.voedingsbanklv.nl.

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