On my facebook page, I recently reported the following overheard conversation that took place in an Amsterdam cafe.

Customer “Do you have Chai?”
Irritated waitress “Chai? No, we don’t have that, just normal Latte, Cappuccino or Coffee.”
Customer “Oh really? Ok, then I’ll have a skinny cappuccino.”
Waitress raising voice “Listen this isn’t Starbucks”

Being a Shallow Man I’m also guilty of what I’ll describe as middle-class self-indulgence. I’ll admit to getting somewhat agitated when one of my favourite cafes stopped serving eggs benedict at lunchtimes, or when my tailor the excellent Pakkend didn’t have a particular Scabal wool in stock. Living in Amsterdam Zuid, and spending most of my time there, it’s very easy to forget that there are lots of people in Amsterdam who are having difficulties making ends meet.

In a recent report on AT5, they reported that there are four thousand five hundred and eighty people that are dependant on food banks, an increase of sixty-five percent since 2010, which brings me to the subject of today’s post.

Prakkie over 020

The Shallow Man, preferring to visit eet cafes and restaurants of quality, is a bit of a stranger to his own kitchen. For me, the kitchen is generally a place where I make fruit smoothies and Latte. However, for those of you that regularly cook at home, how often have you had to throw away food? I was brought up not to waste food, and admit to feeling incredibly guilty, when I end up throwing out bread or fruit, simply because I never got round to eating them, as opposed to throwing food out because it was already rotten when I paid for it at the Albert Cuyp market.

What do you do with your leftovers? How often have you had to throw out perfectly good food? Jessica Deen, a regular reader of my blog has come up with a great idea for redistributing food that is no longer needed, but still edible. She has created an Amsterdam based group called Prakkie over 020. They will collect leftover food and redistribute it in the form of a food package to people who need it.  It’s a good idea, and an easy way to help those in need.

The group already had over eight hundred active members. If you live in Amsterdam and would like to help out please click here to join the group.

A food bank in action

A food bank in action