Alarming increase in Dutch needing Red Cross food support
The number of Netherlands residents who need help to buy food is increasing alarmingly, the Red Cross reported. In May last year, the aid organization issued abut 2,200 shopping cards and food parcels per week. In the coming weeks, that will be scaled up to 6 thousand cards and parcels, NOS reports.
The shopping card contains credit with which groceries can be bought at the supermarket. Single persons receive 15 euros per week. Families get more, depending on their composition.
According to the Red Cross, more and more people need help. In May it was mainly undocumented migrants, homeless people, and migrant workers who asked for aid. Now the organization is seeing more and more students, entrepreneurs and single parents who lost their jobs and income in the coronavirus pandemic.
The Red Cross encountered student mentors coming to ask for help because students can't afford anything other than bread. Flexible workers are facing high fixed costs and can hardly afford food. More and more entrepreneurs and self employed people are also knocking on the door, the aid organization said.
"They are people who previously had a good salary, but are in trouble due to high fixed costs and little income," Red Cross director Marieke van Schaik said to the broadcaster. "They often receive just too much support to qualify for regular food aid, but can't make ends meet due to the high fixed costs. They therefore need help buying food."