Christmas is coming. You probably will have a great dinner with your family and eat sweets and cookies the whole week. But there are some people who even can’t afford to buy all the food they need. Relax! We don’t want you to feel guilty, but if you want to help them then there are ways you can do it.
Have you ever heard about food banks? These are organizations all over Europe, which help to poor people by providing the food they can’t buy themselves. The food that food banks get is donated by supermarkets, farmers, auctions and food companies. But really anyone can help out.
If you are seriously thinking about donating, it might be better to wait for a while. ‘Around Christmas the supply is pretty big because everyone is willing to give and share, – says the communication agent of the food-bank in Amsterdam Mariet Bolluijt, – but in January or February it is much more difficult for us get food. Everyone has forgotten about sharing by that time and we need to work much harder to collect the basic necessities’.
So, what food should you give? Mariet Bolluijt has an idea: ‘We collect Christmas boxes ourselves, lots of people just throw theirs away, letting all the food go to waste’. These Christmas boxes often contain canned food, which can be stored for a long time. Other things to think about are: pick food that is low in salt, fat, oils or sugar. Also avoid sweets and chocolate, but choose healthier food like rice, beans or canned tuna. The kind of food that will actually stop you getting hungry for a long time.
The amount of people asking for help from the Amsterdam food bank increases every month and this is the same situation happens all over Europe. In other words, they really need any help they can get. So just in case you do end up feeling guilty during your big Christmas dinner, now you know what you can do to get rid of it.
Beñat Flores, Anna Deryabina, Sander Heikens