Outside the Binnenhof: ‘Everyone left to his destiny’

Politics come from The Hague, but the consequences are visible throughout the country. Only six months ago they belonged to the middle class and were able to live well, now Michel and Brigitte Strobbe are queuing at the food bank every Friday. โ€œA few years ago, we had a foundation of our own that handed out food packages, and now Im standing there,โ€ says Brigitte Strobbe. โ€œI know now how those people felt.โ€

Brigitte and her husband are not the only ones who have relied on the help of others since the past year. Never before have so many people appealed to the food bank in the Netherlands. Informal food banks are also doing their best and helping a growing number of families living in poverty.

In politics, the initiators of these food banks find it difficult to listen to. In Zaandam, for example, about three hundred people are waiting every week, in the dark, in the cold, for a bag of food that benefactors have to hand out from a backyard. โ€œActually, this should not be necessary in a welfare state like the Netherlands.โ€