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Dutch Food Center

Updated on June 23, 2019
Kimberly Martis profile image

Kimberly Martis is a Dutch Caribbean freelance writer. She writes about culture, beauty, tv-shows, music, movies, odd jobs and fiction.

The Netherlands is a rich country and the government takes good care of its citizens. Yet, there are more than 1 million people living in poverty. These people can receive benefits from the government but this isn’t always enough for them to get by. And that is where the food center steps in.

At the moment there are 169 food centers in the Netherlands. These food centers are placed throughout the Netherlands and can be found in big cities but also in smaller villages. All the food centers are non-profit from top to bottom. Dutch citizens who live in poverty can apply to the food center for help. After receiving their application, the food center will decide if the applicant is eligible to receive food packages. Applications can be filled out for one person or for an entire family. The requirements that the applicants need to meet to receive a food package differ per person. As the food center looks at every individual situation on its own.



As the food center is a non-profit organization, they fully depend on donations and the kindness of volunteers. The donations (money and food) go 100% to helping Dutch citizens living in poverty. Which is one of the reasons why individuals and (big) companies make donations towards the food center.

Besides donating money and food, you can also donate your time by volunteering at the food center. You can volunteer by yourself or with a group of people. The food center also offers volunteering spots to companies so co-workers can volunteer together as a way of team building.

Food Packages

The food packages provided by the food center contain different items. Of course, the food center tries to make food packages as varied as possible. This way it will contain healthy food but also snacks, cookies, and candy. There might also be meat or fish in the food package. But this all depends on the donation that the food center received. Some of the food may have exceeded their expiry date. But as long as the food is still edible the food center will hand it out.

Time Limit

The food center is a temporary solution. The time limit to receive food packages is 3 years. This is because of the idea that the people receiving the food packages will be out of poverty within these 3 years. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. If someone still wants/needs to receive food packages after 3 years they can send a request to the board. The board will then evaluate if they are eligible to continue to receive food packages.


A lot of the families receiving food packages have (small) children. As it is already difficult for the parents to provide food for the whole family it is also difficult to buy them gifts. Off course the food center wants to provide the children with something extra for their birthday. This is why they teamed up with Jarige Job. Jarige Job is also a non-profit organization. They help the food center by gifting children a box full of surprises on their birthday.

The food center is a great initiative. It really helps the Dutch citizens who are living in poverty without asking anything in return. A lot of organizations have hidden agendas but the Dutch food center is truly an honest and great non-profit organization that deserves more recognition.

© 2019 Kimberly Martis


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    • Kimberly Martis profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Martis 

      21 months ago

      Hi! There are various tv-shows and newspapers in the Netherlands that keep up with the people receiving help from the Dutch food center. I personally know a few people that receive help from the food center and never heard a complaint.

      Of course, there was always some form of poverty but it got worse because of the crisis. A lot of Dutch citizens lost their jobs and it was hard getting a new one. Especially in smaller cities. Most of the people that were affected by this were middle-class citizens, people living paycheck to paycheck, people with little to none education and senior citizens.

      Fortunately, things are improving and the food center is always willing to help those in need.

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      A food bank concept has helped many people throughout history. One measure of the temperature of culture is when we see recipients responses to the help. It's interesting to study the various levels of gratitude in different countries but I've not heard a report on this from Netherlands.

      Why are there 1 million people living in poverty in such a rich country?

    • Kimberly Martis profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Martis 

      22 months ago

      Hi Liz. It could be that they are based on the same concept.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      22 months ago from UK

      These sound similar to food banks which exist in the UK.


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