Extra food, school supplies and relief packages: the Dutch donate energy compensation

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced on Friday in a conversation with NOS that he would donate his energy compensation. The Hedgehog Shelter in The Hague can probably look forward to his 380 euros. Other charities also indicate in an investigation by RTL Nieuws that they have recently received a lot of extra money that can be traced back to the energy compensation.

Food Banks Netherlands has reported that they have received many tens of thousands of euros in donations since the announcement of the energy compensation. “The donations are still coming in every day,” says chairman Leo Wijnbelt. “The local branches also get a lot of money. We haven’t campaigned for this nationally, so it’s great that it’s happening. Some branches have done it locally.”

Tips from energy companies

The customers asked various energy companies if the company could do something about their compensation if they did not need it. Among others, Vattenfall and Vandebron then gave their customers tips on where they could donate the money.

Food Banks Holland was one of the recommended charities. And according to Wijnbelt, the extra donations come in handy. “Inflation hits people hard. Since January 1, we’ve had 30 percent more customers. We’ve gone from 90,000 customers to 120,000. Without the extra donations, we probably wouldn’t even have been able to feed all these people.”

“The pressure on our volunteers is also increasing,” says Wijnbelt. “It creaks and creaks. It’s all the more beautiful that we get so much support and donations. It gives a good feeling, despite the fact that of course it’s very double because the need is so great.”

Extra food

With the extra money, Food Banks Holland can buy extra food, now that the influx of food is not increasing as fast as the number of customers. “December is always a month when charities receive extra donations, this year even more than usual. We are happy to be able to do this, but at the same time we are also worried about the new year. There is still a lot of uncertainty.”

The compensation was intended as additional support until the price cap comes into effect in January. We explain how this price cap works in this video:

Kansfonds received perhaps the most donations of all. Director Henriette Hulsebosch says that 450,000 euros have now been donated. Kansfonds supports initiatives throughout the country to fight poverty. Partly because of the donated money, the organization was able to enter into new collaborations.

“These local organizations provide relief to people who, for example, have lost their entire salary or fixed-cost benefit,” explains Hulsebosch. “So they no longer have money for something simple like groceries. But also people who now want to buy thermal clothing for their children because they can’t afford to turn on the heater often.”

No money for medicine

Painful to watch, Hulsebosch also cites examples of people who need urgent help to pay for their medicine or diapers for their baby. “It is disturbing to see that for some people who themselves need energy compensation, that amount is actually not enough.”

The Poverty Foundation, which tries to support people living in poverty through special projects, has also recently received many additional donations. Spokesperson for the Poverty Foundation, Wendy Heerkens-Brands, says that at least 200,000 euros have been received in donations, which can be traced back to the energy compensation.

Gift from heaven

“All these donations are a godsend for us,” says Heerkens-Brands. “We primarily use this extra money for the projects that are already running. For example, we help students buy school equipment, we distribute sanitary napkins, and we have packages for vulnerable elderly people. It includes, for example, a card with credit for the supermarket and Hema, so they can buy something extra or underwear for themselves.’

Still, the Poverty Foundation also has mixed feelings about the many donations. “650,000 families have financial problems. It is disturbing and very bad that this is necessary. At some point the donations will stop as a result of the energy compensation. Then we will have to recruit even harder. The number of people living in poverty is increasing. still.”

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