Measures to reduce the amount of food thrown away by supermarkets are causing problems for food banks, who depend on leftovers for their supplies.
The Voedselbank estimates that the amount of food donated by stores has come down by 20% in the last year. Some products, such as meat, have disappeared from food parcels as a result of efficiencies in the supply chain.
“Especially now, at the end of the winter, we can see the flow of fresh produce has not got up to speed and our supplies are dwindling,” Paul van Berkel, a manager at the Voedselbank, told NOS.
“Even for products like bread, which we used to have an abundance of, are starting to become difficult to find.”
Wageningen University and Research published figures earlier this month showing supermarkets were on course to halve the amount of food they throw away between 2015 and 2030. In 2022 only 1.38% of food on the shelves ended up being discarded, while in 2021 the proportion was 1.6%.
Van Berkel called on supermarkets and food producers to donate more food to compensate for the lack of leftovers. Consumers can also donate food or give money to the charity.
The Voedselbank operates a network of 177 food banks in the Netherlands that help 105,000 people a week, including 35,000 children.
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