The intention was to collect products with volunteers in the supermarkets for Christmas packages for the minimum income in Zwolle, but now the organization of KerstZwolle is sounding the alarm. “We started in good spirits to set up an old-fashioned campaign, but reality has caught up with us,” says Sietske van der Herberg. “That’s why we are going to organize the action online again.”
The organizer of the Christmas hamper campaign sees that the number of volunteers is lagging behind enormously this year. “And with those new measures and increasing numbers, we just have to take our responsibility.” That is why the promotion is now forced to become a digital promotion.
Lack of volunteers
“We always have volunteers in the supermarket who hand out shopping lists. People from Zwolle sometimes buy two or three, sometimes whole carts full of products.” Volunteers, together with the organization of KerstZwolle, fill the boxes in the food banks with these products.
Now the organization itself has to buy the groceries with money that is collected. “We then buy those groceries in bulk from, for example, Sligro or Jumbo, where there are currently only options. Because you normally have to request that much further in advance.”
Less money, less products
Van der Herberg is confident that it will succeed. “We still have to collect 50,000 euros. That is an awful lot of money, but the past has shown that it is possible. That we can do this with all Zwolle residents for the minimum in Zwolle.”
According to the organizer, the number of products in the Christmas packages still needs to be looked at. “Normally you have about seventeen or eighteen products in such a box. If we don’t raise enough money, we might have to go to fourteen or fifteen products.”
The annual Christmas hamper promotion is an action for and by Zwolle residents. “We collect packages to fill for the Zwolle minimums. Then you also have to think of people who can just use a little extra for Christmas.”
And there are quite a few, it concerns 2,800 packages. “The number of packages has increased again this year,” says Van der Herberg. “We have now put a stop to it, with pain in our hearts.”
The need may be greater than ever. “The desire is also very great to just be able to give these people this, especially after the complicated year we’ve had. Just a ray of hope, that would be great.”