Freegan Food Foundation, a leading nonprofit organization committed to fighting food insecurity, successfully completed its intakes in July to identify the next set of families benefiting from its client choice food bank. The program strives to provide nourishing food options and access to fresh produce to low-income families on a weekly basis. Instead of receiving pre-packed food boxes, which may not align with dietary needs or personal preferences, beneficiaries are given the autonomy to select their own food items in a supermarket style setting.
For the intake process, which took place on July 18 and July 19 at the John Larmonie Center, over 400 registered individuals were invited in scheduled groups of 75 persons each. Out of this initial pool, 213 participants actively engaged in an informative group session, followed by an individual intake, facilitated by 10 compassionate volunteers with diverse language skills to also cater to the Spanish and Creole speaking community.
The intake process plays a pivotal role in offering invaluable insights into the unique living and financial circumstances of each household. This information becomes the foundation on which the scoring system is built, ensuring that families that are most in need of food aid are selected for the program. In the selection process priority is given to single-person households, single (grand) parents with children under 12, and pregnant women.
Through a combination of subsidy received from supportive funding agencies and resources generated by the thrift store and vegan meal sales, Freegan Food Foundation can extend its assistance to nearly 250 individuals through this program.
Out of the 213 individuals who completed the intake process, 85 households have been selected to participate in the program, comprising of 225 individuals. However, due to overwhelming demand, 71 families consisting of 175 individuals have been placed on the waitlist, while 65 families, based on the scoring system, do not currently qualify for the program. This does not imply that they are not in need; rather, it signifies that our resources do not stretch that far.
Freegan Food Foundation remains deeply grateful for the support of the St. Maarten Development Fund and R4CR. The R4CR program is financed by the Government of the Netherlands via the Sint Maarten Trust Fund. The latter is administered by the World Bank and implemented by the NRPB (National Recovery Program Bureau). The R4CR program is locally managed by the VNGI (International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities) in close cooperation with 4C Foundation and other local partners. Their unwavering commitment and collaboration have been instrumental in making this program a reality.
For more information about Freegan Food Foundation and its initiatives, please visit Facebook/Instagram: freeganfoodfoundation. The Foundation’s thrift-store and food market is located on Pondfill road and is open from Tuesday to Saturday. If you want to support our mission, come to the yard sale on August 5th from 8:00am to 11:00am.
Quote Joost: “This is the 3rd time we conduct this way of intake, and it is great to see the community working together to guide the ones who need it most to receive the help that is offered by the foundation. However, it is also heartbreaking to see that the demand for help is way bigger than we can cater to. Because the 65 families that did not qualify do need help, they just end up so low in the scoring system, they fall off the wagon. Not even all the families on the waiting list will get in the program this round, so there is no use of keeping the not qualified on it. Of course, money is one of the reasons why we are limited to these numbers, but we are also bounded by the space we have in our shop. Those 2 challenges are the 2 goals for the near future: get more funding, but evenly important: find an affordable bigger warehouse.”