Food banks anticipate tens of thousands of new recipients
Food Banks Netherlands, an association of Dutch food banks, predicts that the number of people in need of food assistance will increase greatly in the period ahead as a result of the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak. "After this health crisis, there will be an economic crisis," the organization's chairman, Leo Wijnbelt, explained to Nederlands Dagblad.
Believing that a recession is "inevitable", Wijnbelt says that the 170 food banks in his network will see a drastic uptick of those needing help making ends meet as a result of rising unemployment, specifically among self-employed people and freelancers.
"We have already seen a significant increase in the number of requests for help in recent weeks," Wijnbelt added. "The expectation is that the number of clients will only increase in the coming period."
Food Banks Netherlands is scrambling to raise additional funds to help support the anticipated wave of arrivals, launching the 'Stay Safe en Geef' campaign to seek donations.
Given that the current number of people using food banks in the Netherlands already stands at 151,000 recipients, Wijnbelt's prediction of an increase of "tens of percent" would amount to, at the least, tens of thousands of new donees.