About 400,000 people in the Netherlands cannot afford food and groceries, the Red Cross estimated. More and more people are turning to the aid organization for food support. “People experience fruit and vegetables as an unattainable luxury,” Heleen van den Berg, head of national aid at the Dutch Red Cross, said in a statement.
“In a prosperous country like the Netherlands, nobody should worry about getting enough food,” Van den Berg said. “Yet every day, we hear from people that they have to skip meals. We also hear that parents don’t eat to ensure that their children can.”
The Red Cross recently started distributing breakfast packages in Friesland and Utrecht. The aid organization works with partner organizations like community centers to ensure these €10 food packages reach struggling families so that kids don’t have to go to school hungry. In Friesland, about 600 kids get breakfast every week. In Utrecht, there are about 120, and the Red Cross expects it to increase quickly.
The aid organization is expanding this aid into Noord-Holland next week, and the other provinces will follow soon.
The aid organization is also handing out “shopping cards” throughout the country. People can use these cards at supermarkets to buy what they need. “In this help, we mainly focus on people who do not qualify for regular aid or who are unable to find that help themselves,” the Red Cross said. “We also work with partner organizations in neighborhoods who know which people need help.”
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