It’s just after lunchtime on a drizzly day in the Amsterdam suburb of Bos en Lommer and the line of people waiting to fill their bags with free rice, juice, potatoes and bread is lengthening.
The market is one of 135 food banks in the Netherlands bailing out people trying to survive on less than 180 euros ($234) a month, the threshold to qualify for the aid. Organizers say demand for the service rose 20 percent in the first quarter.
“I’m alone, so I will manage, but what’s happening to families, with kids and everything?” Willem Lammers, 52, who lost his job as a packager six months ago and has 4,000 euros of debt, said as he made his ninth visit to the bank on April 20. “I don’t know how they do it.”