Fresh food for the foodbanks

New distribution center for more fresh fruit and vegetables in food bank packages

The economy might be booming, one million Dutch people are still living under the poverty line and around 30,000 Dutch households depend on the food bank on a weekly basis. To top it off, the quality of the food bank packages often leaves room for improvement; too much saturated fat and not enough fruit, vegetables, fish and fiber. Food bank customers have an unhealthier diet than the rest of the country. But all this is about to change.

During last week’s meeting ‘Groenten en frUITdaging’ (Fruit and Vegetable Challenge) at horticultural company Koppert Cress in the Westland area, the Dutch Food Banks, together with growers, transporting companies and voluntary organizations, agreed to join forces to deliver more varied packages. The meager supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in the aid packages is a major health problem, especially for children. The bottleneck in the collection and distribution of fruit and vegetables is the inefficiency in logistics between growers and food banks. That is why the Dutch Food Banks want to set up a special distribution and sorting center in ­­­­Westland before the end of the year. From there, the surplus vegetables and fruits will be distributed to different food banks in the region.

 

Stop wasting food

The meeting was intended to realise a distribution center where producers and producer associations can donate products. From this distribution center, the various food banks could receive the fresh products.

The Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Carola Schouten was also present at the meeting and stated that she was happy with the initiative. ‘The government believes it is important to avoid food wastage and the food banks can help in avoiding this. I therefore call on all parties to report restrictive regulations and legislation on food donations to us. My ministry will then try to find a way to eliminate these.’

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