Sharp increase in people using food bank last year
In 2020, the number of people who turned to the food bank because they couldn't afford food rose sharply. Where in 2019, 151 thousand people made use of the food bank, last year that number rose to 160,500 people, the Dutch food bank reports.
The sharp increase was especially evident among children at 9.3 percent. The food bank reports that the need for assistance to supply daily meals has been on the rise for the past couple of years.
The demand for assistance differs between regions with Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the lead.
Going to the food bank is still often associated with shame. This causes people who do not have enough money to buy their groceries to avoid the food bank. The food bank, therefore, created the campaign, “Nothing to be ashamed of” to reduce the negative connotation linked to asking for assistance from a food bank.
Help is especially required now that many people have lost or are at risk of losing their jobs, the food bank says. “Because as the pandemic has let us see, this is a hefty blow for everyone. From young to old, from employees to employers and from start-ups to established businesses”, the organization said in a press release.
In the Netherlands, 38 thousand food packages are distributed weekly by 13 thousand volunteers in 171 local food banks.