Number of families knocking on the door for support for school supplies almost doubled

The new school year includes a new diary, new exercise books, pens, sometimes even a new pencil case, bag, gym clothes or calculator. And for some families new money worries. Because all those school supplies quickly cost tens of euros per child, and that is not feasible for every family.

The Poverty Fund handed out over 10,200 special passes this year so that especially children who go to secondary school for the first time can still buy school supplies. Robin (12) comes from such a family. “It was all quite a lot that I had to buy. And some things were quite expensive. A pouch already cost 5 euros.”

With the pass of the Poverty Fund Robin could go to shops like the Bruna, Primera or Hema. She was allowed to spend the credit of 50 euros on school supplies she likes. “Usually I first have to see if things are not cheaper somewhere else. Now I could buy everything I liked and I really liked that.”

“When we saw the number of applications increase, we wrote to as many funds and donors as possible,” says Irene Verspeek of the Poverty Fund. With the extra money that came in, we managed to hand out over 10,000 passes this year. But now the money is gone. And so thousands of families still grab next to the pass.

Corona wave coming

“The increase in the number of children for whom a pass has been requested makes it painfully clear that there are more and more children in the Netherlands for whom being able to buy a school diary, bag or set of pens is not self-evident,” says Verspeek.

And then the effects of the corona crisis can’t even be seen. The applications for the coming school year were already made before corona strikes. “We expect to receive even more applications next year due to this crisis,” says Verspeek. “We are already hearing stories from families who are losing all their income. If they have children who go to high school, they’ll probably come to us next year.”