More and more families are requesting free school supplies, a bicycle and swimming lessons NOW

More funds for children in poverty are experiencing an increasing number of applications this year. This is stated in a tour of NU.nl. These are applications for, for example, free school equipment, a bicycle and swimming lessons. If this increase in the number of applications continues, the funds themselves will run into money problems.

In the first half of 2022, the Stichting Leergeld received more than 200,000 requests for assistance, a spokesman said. “Strong growth. This is a 39 percent increase over 2021, and a 26 percent increase over the pre-corona year 2019.”

The Leergeld Foundation helps children from families with money problems. According to the foundation, these are also families with one or two working parents. The foundation wants to contribute to children’s development by, for example, financing membership of a scout club, school trips and sports equipment. Families can also request things such as a laptop for homework.

Jarige Jobfond, which distributes birthday boxes to children in poverty, is also experiencing an increasing number of applications this year. Their birthday box contains decorations, treats and a gift.

“We expect about 100,000 applications this year versus 80,000 last year,” a spokesman said. An increase of 15 percent, of which part of the additional applications have already been received. Through other aid organizations such as food banks, the foundation hears that more families are on the way.

‘Never experienced such a sharp rise’

Fattigfondsfonden has also experienced an increase in the number of applications for Skolespullenpas, three years in a row now. With the passport, children can buy things like a calculator, sportswear and a backpack for fifty euros.

For the school year 2021-2022, the foundation received 16,290 applications for the passport. For the coming year, the number of applications will be about 14 percent higher. In the last two years, around 3,000 to 4,000 children have ended up on the waiting list, just like this year.

The National Fund for Child Welfare sees a doubling in the number of applications since the corona pandemic broke out in the spring of 2020. “We have never experienced such a sharp increase,” said a spokesman. The foundation helps families with, among other things, a free children’s bicycle and a holiday fun package.

Inflation also affects working parents

It may be that people in poverty can find the funds better than before, say the spokespersons for Jarige Job, Leergeld and Fattigdomsfonden. But all funds stress that inflation and rising energy prices play a role. “Our most obvious explanation is that more and more families are experiencing financial problems,” said the spokesman for the Stichting Leergeld.

The Stichting Leergeld has noticed for years that money worries also affect families with one or two working parents. The spokesman for Jarige Job agrees: “We see a lot of people who could just manage before. Now they lose a few tens extra a month because of higher energy costs and those expenses are just too great. Those families can not do that. more strongholds, “the spokesman explained.

Child help also sees an increase because more is possible after the corona period. This year, the foundation will mainly receive more requests for free swimming lessons. “Probably because swimming lessons are finally allowed again after the corona era,” the spokesman said.

Donors now also keep their hands on the cut

The increase in applications is not yet causing problems everywhere. For example, the Poverty Fund is recruiting more and more donors to keep up with the growing number of applications. At Jarige Job, the income is stable, according to the spokesman.

At Stichting Leergeld, a number of local foundations have announced that the end of the financial resources is in sight if this increase continues. These include Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Parkstad region of Limburg.

The National Fund for Child Welfare sees a decrease in donations of 10 to 15 percent compared to last year. “Donors are also holding hands on their wallets because their costs are rising,” the spokesman explained.

The fund must be creative with the available budget. “We do not want to sell the children no. This group has been told no so often,” the spokesman said. Therefore, they lower the budget for a new bike from, for example, 150 euros to 125 euros.

“As it stands now, we can accommodate any request.” But about the future, the spokesman says: “It does not look good.”

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