News feature from: Ugeavisen de Loop Helmond
Sharing food to help each other
It is a primary necessity of life: food. And in general we could say in the Netherlands that everyone had enough to eat, but all the accumulated crises in recent times have ensured that it is no longer a matter of course for some people to eat enough and healthy. Linda van Ruth and her mother-in-law Pauline van Hattum want to change that.
By: Wendy Lodewijk
Linda explains: “Everyone sees the prices of absolutely everything skyrocketing. Energy, fuel, building materials, but also groceries from the supermarket. I see that more and more people are having a hard time, and it touches me. At the same time, when I hear that the Hart voor Minima foundation has had to stop, it makes me sad. I also give others a good basic life necessity. This is how the idea for Foodsharing Helmond was born.”
Helping someone else and reducing food waste at the same time
Foodsharing Helmond is a closed group on Facebook. The principle is simple: if you have something left, don’t throw it away, but give it to someone else. “This could be anything,” Linda explains. “If you’ve made too much, you can give that pot of soup or stew to someone less fortunate who would love a fresh hot meal. Or if you find something in your pantry that you’re not using, then give it away.” Whatever anyone has left is placed in the group. Members can reply to that message if they are interested. If there is too much interest, the food will be raffled off. The group is not only intended for individuals. Restaurants and businesses can also participate. “Restaurants often have too much food in the house. It would be nice if they thought of us first, before all the good food ends up in the trash. In this way, we prevent food waste, and the less fortunate among us also have something tasty to eat. So a win-win situation.”
For everyone with a small wallet
Linda’s mother-in-law Pauline has been ‘bombed’ as administrator of the Facebook group. “She has a lot of experience at Facebook,” explains Linda. “I managed a group on bread baking for a while,” confirms Pauline. “In addition, I fully support the concept of Foodsharing Helmond,” she continues. “I myself once belonged to the minimum. So I know exactly how those people live and how nice it is when you have something else to eat. Our group is also intended for people who fall just outside the minimum income. Sometimes a person’s income is just too high to claim all kinds of benefits and the like, while fixed costs (eg due to illness) are so high that there is very little left on the bottom line. We also want to help those people.” In addition to the fact that the group is intended for people with a small budget, transport has also been taken into account. You must collect the food yourself. For example, because many from the target group do not have a car, the neighborhood is involved. That way, everyone can decide for themselves whether it is possible to pick it up. The group is available to everyone from Helmond.
More providers are needed
Linda and Pauline take it seriously. In a month’s time, almost 80 messages had already been posted within the Facebook group. “However, we are still eagerly looking for more providers,” the ladies say. “There is a great response to everything that is offered in the group. We don’t have nearly enough food to help everyone. We therefore hope that more companies will participate. For example, you often see food left over after lunch and then disappearing into the bin. Instead of throwing it out, it can be offered in the group. We have printed business cards and flyers that are, among other things, at Super Social. With winter just around the corner, we think it’s important to help other people. Especially in times like now, with soaring prices and the lack of a food bank in Helmond.”
If you would like more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to join the group, scan the QR code. Both people who badly need it and people and/or companies who (regularly) have something to save are very welcome.
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