Every human being is vulnerable
Through the project 'Meals for another', the Red Cross distributes food vouchers to institutions, which in turn pass them on to people who are currently not well off. The food voucher is a card with a certain amount on it that the person can spend freely in the supermarket. For this, donations can be made to the Red Cross. The more money that comes in, the more food stamps can be distributed and the higher the amount! One of the agencies that the Red Cross gives food stamps to is Management Support Tilburg (MST).
MST | People in focus
Until just over a year ago, vulnerable people could go to MST on a daily basis, a house where help and contact could be sought. Every day at least 1000 to 1500 people visited the living room for a cup of coffee or a game. People can also come with all kinds of questions and language and computer lessons are given.
MST stands for hospitality, this is also what attracts people to come here, according to a visitor to MST. A place where nothing is mandatory and where help is offered on a voluntary basis. In addition, a cheap but healthy meal could be obtained here. However, due to the outbreak of the Corona crisis, a lot has changed. The walk-in in the living room has stopped and unfortunately the meals can no longer be provided. Personal requests for help by appointment are possible, but experience has shown that it is not easy for everyone to ask for help.
So the corona crisis is also having a huge impact here. For this reason the Red Cross has started handing out food vouchers. Receiving a food voucher is experienced as an enormous support. For many recipients, it was nice to receive such a voucher; they had the freedom to buy food again. For other recipients, receiving a food stamp gives some breathing room and can provide stress relief when someone knows they always have something on hand in times of need.
The walk-in of people, the hustle and bustle and the sociability is missed at MST, the desire to have everything back to the way it was is great. Nevertheless, it is now important to continue helping people, as is done with the Red Cross food vouchers. To be able to continue to do this, money is needed.
In April, the students of the Raising Awareness committee of the Red Cross Student Desk Tilburg spent a day helping out at the Tilburg Food Bank to get a better idea of how things work at this institution.
Here we helped sort the donated food, from fresh sandwiches to drinks and pre-packaged meal packages. After this, we assembled the packages for a number of people who were not mobile enough to visit themselves. Everyone had their own 'area' and here we received a bill indicating how much of a certain product we were allowed to give. A lot of people came and it was nice to see how grateful people are for the help they receive. Some people have been working for the Food Bank for a number of years and really build up a bond with the people they are allowed to help each week, which is very nice to see. We were all impressed by the impact that the Food Bank has on so many people and it gave a huge feeling of satisfaction to be able to help here.
This project "Meal for another" was a special experience where we all have learned a lot and have been busy these past weeks. It is great to see so many people working so hard voluntarily to help so many people. For this reason, the Raising Awareness committee of the Red Cross Student Desk Tilburg will hold a food collection event for the Voedselbank on 17 and 18 June.
What can you do?
Maybe you are inspired and think: I want to help too. I would love to! All help is welcome in any form. Every human being is vulnerable, even when you don't expect it.
There are several possibilities to help. You can see for yourself what suits you and what is the easiest way for you to contribute. You can think of:
- Donating money to the Red Cross for the project 'Meal for another'.
- On Fridays you can help as a volunteer at the Tilburg Food Bank
- Donating, especially, dry groceries (such as rice, pasta and spices) to the Food Bank. You could also do this with your housemates! For example, buy an extra pack of rice for your chicken curry and set it aside to donate to the Food Bank. Sign up via this link.
Would you like to participate in such cool projects next year? Then sign up as a committee member at the Red Cross Student Desk: firstname.lastname@example.org