Conversations about our own property Food bank Veenendaal

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VEENENDAL The municipality has now formally informed the Food Bank that Veenendaal is currently unable to sell the building on Gilbert van Schoonbekestraat to them. Missie0318 had asked for it earlier because they would like to have their own permanent place in Veenendaal.

Missie0318 started in 2013 with a food bank and clothing bank. “Some time later, the Stadsakkers and the Soepfiets were added. Since 2014, we have rented the building at Gilbert van Schoonbekestraat 75 from the municipality of Veenendaal. This building houses the Food and Clothing Bank and is the base for Soepfiets. A bicycle that volunteers take out to Veenendaal every week to provide homeless people with soup, a sandwich and a chat,” says Gert Willemsen from Missie0318. They had a lease at this current location until 2019 and the end date is now 31 December 2023. The board has therefore looked at a solution for housing after 1 January 2024 in Veenendaal.

INTERESTS,,The result is that we are happy to buy our current building from Veenendaal municipality. Now we always work with five-year leases. With the uncertainty again and again, whether we have to move unexpectedly or not in the long term.” Investing in sustainability and maintenance does not pay off in the short term, but Missie0318 would like to do it in her own building. “The Food Bank has now asked if there is an opportunity to buy the building. This with a view to, for example, future policy and investments in sustainability. For the current location, however, there are several interests. It is a former school building, and the education debate also takes place in this environment,” says councilor Dylan Lochtenberg.

SHOPS The current location is ideal for Missie0318, in the middle of the neighborhoods where its target audience lives. And close for the people who don’t usually have a car to transport the large quantities of groceries. “The building has the ideal size and layout for us. In addition, we carried out an internal change in 2020, where the Food Bank was transformed from a counter service concept to a retail concept. Our two beautiful stores at this location are highly appreciated by all customers. This also applies to our volunteers, who now have a wonderful workplace.” Missie0318 believed that the current location is surplus property for the municipality and would therefore like to buy it.

With the uncertainty again and again, whether we have to move or not

FACILITATE She also thinks this is in line with the city council’s decision that the council must facilitate the housing in the Veenendaal Food Bank. “A few years ago, we discussed the Food Bank’s position. In 2017, for example, the property policy was adopted in the municipal council and later an amendment was adopted to facilitate housing for measures such as the Food Bank,’ the councilor continues. However, the location of Gilbert van Schoonbekestraat is of strategic importance to Veenendaal, which is why the municipality rents it out temporarily. She therefore cannot sell it to Missie0138 because the place is not for sale.

IVOLTAGE OBLIGATION The councilor certainly wants to include Missie0318’s wish in the talks, but looks at all parties for whom the place can offer a housing solution. “As a board, we would like to continue the discussion about this, but we still have to look at the development around the current location. We have said before that it is vacant until 31 December 2023. But if there are other plans for this location, we as a municipality will continue to do our best to facilitate housing for the Food Bank,” concludes Lochtenberg.

by Peter Kuypers

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