VoedselbankVoedselbankFoodbank
Profiel
Hille Hoogland

Hille Hoogland

37 jaar uit Amsterdam

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Coördinator intake en "meer dan voedsel alleen" bij de Voedselbank Amsterdam


Big Picture in the Big Apple

September 11, 2009 00:14

Langzamerhand begint de BIG Picture te komen in de BIG Apple. Door eindeloos kletsen met Kristen en door alles wat ik heb mogen zien en meemaken de afgelopen 3 dagen.

Dinsdag was de ' City Harvest dag'  en heb ik van alles over deze organisatie geleerd vanuit hun kantoor en vanuit de vrachtwagen tijdens het ophalen van voedsel. En aan het einde van die dag zag ik Kristen 'in actie' met haar campagne ter verbetering van schoolmaaltijden, in steeds verschillende settings. Het ene moment zaten wij bij een vergadering op de 44ste verdieping van een sjiek kantoor met zakenlui, het volgende moment bij een bijeenkomst in een bar (toevallig Jimmy's!) met mensen van de wereldwijde Slow Food organisation. Kristen heeft net zoals ik geen 9 tot 5 baan en is veel op pad in de stad. De stad is onze werkplek!

Woensdag kreeg ik een van de 1200 plekken in New York te zien waar het 'geredde' voedsel naar toe gaat en uitgedeeld wordt (zie de blog 'More than food only'). En 's middags waren wij bij een van de special events die City Harvest organiseert ter promotie van hun werk. Een groep van 30 stond buiten bij het honkbalstadion Citi Field, duizenden kilos appels in 2 uur tijd in 'familieporties' te verdelen. Dit is binnenkort te zien op At5 in Kort Amsterdams.

De Job Swap is een project van de Stichting Henry Hudson 400 in samenwerking met BKB en wordt mede mogelijk gemaakt door NY400. De wildcard actie wordt georganiseerd met Het Parool en AM New York.

Profiel
Kristen Mancinelli

Kristen Mancinelli

29 years old from New York

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Manager of policy and government relations at City Harvest


more than just food

September 17, 2009 20:50

Voedselbank Amsterdam has a program called "More Than Food Only" that is the true core of Hille's work. That's not the most  of what Voedselbank does, but it may be the most important in the sense that, if it works, the people who rely on food from the Voedselbank might no longer need it. The same is true of my work for City Harvest, both in its purpose and in the fact that it compliments the main work of my organization, which is to distribute food.
 
Let me explain: Many people in both NYC and Amsterdam can't afford enough food, so our sister organizations across the Atlantic collect food that would be thrown away and deliver it to places that give it out to people in need. Problem solved - for today. But that's not the end of the story, because many people who can't afford food today won't be able to buy it tomorrow, either. (In NYC, where food deserts are common, they might not be able to find good food even if they could afford it.) The solution to this problem is less straightforward and requires the cooperation of many different players.
 
So, what are we doing about this? In Amsterdam the Voedselbank has invited a number of organizations to assist their clients with the various problems that cause them to not be able to afford food. They collaborate with MaDi, a type of social service organization (non-governmental) that assists clients with debt management and benefits access. The "budget training" I attended this morning is an example of their work. Voedselbank clients are encouraged to sign up for this class when they come to the food pantry; the idea is that if these clients can learn how to better manage their limited funds they will have an easier time affording food. Similarly, City Harvest runs a financial empowerment program in some of the agencies that we distribute food to to give people the skills and confidence to improve their quality of life, and access to food, through better spending habits. At the end of the budget training course the Voedselbank clients take a trip to the supermarket with 20 euros and the challenge to buy two days' worth of balanced meals, putting their learning into practice. Not surprisingly, City Harvest uses the same technique in our nutrition education programs.
 
These are skills that many of us take for granted. Can you remember who taught you to budget, monitor your expenses, and save a bit? Or to choose nutritious, inexpensive foods from the supermarket? The people I met today were learning these things for the first time. Teaching a group of people to balance their budget may not be the most exciting piece of our work, but it's a vital one.

The Job Swap is an initiative of the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation and BKB, in cooperation with the NY400. The Wildcard contest is organized together with newspapers Het Parool (Amsterdam) and AM New York (New York).