Ten years ago Sjaak and Carla Sies started the ‘Voedselbank’, the Dutch version of the food bank, in their backyard in Rotterdam. Today, there are 136 branches in the Netherlands.
Now there’s a book to remember these past years and most of all, remember that food banks are needed more than ever. Every week, hundreds of volunteers help give out crates full of food to families and individuals who can’t afford the most basic foods. Their up-close interviews and portraits make the problem of poverty and hunger in rich countries painfully tangible.
The section I was involved in is called ‘Cooking with crates’. We received two crates of donated food and made several dishes with the ingredients, with as little added ingredients as possible. A bit like in the TV program“Ready, Steady, Cook”, but with really random stuff. Pink-glazed cakes (the famous Dutch ‘roze koeken’), organic (!) hamburgers, cassava chips, avocados and gluten-free pancake mix. We knocked ourselves out. Really, with the help of two wonderful food bank volunteers we managed to get some pretty tasty results. A fennel-potato soup, a tropical salad with mango and avocado, ‘rustic’ hamburgers and Provençal pancakes.