Thousand Families Accept Food Donations in Iceland Skip to content

Thousand Families Accept Food Donations in Iceland

An unusually high number of people attended food donations at charities yesterday, considering that it has only been one week since the last payday. Around 550 families came to the charity Maedrastyrksnefnd for food and 510 to Fjölskylduhjálp Íslands.

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Bread was donated by the charities. The photo is not directly related to the story. By Páll Kjartansson.

“I would never have believed that I would have to go there. I felt terribly but I was warmly welcomed,” a single mother of three, who accepted food donations for the first time yesterday, told Morgunbladid.

“Usually I’ve gotten by until the last week of the month but as soon as there are some additional expenses it doesn’t work out anymore,” she explained. She is unemployed and receives ISK 140,000 (USD 1,300, EUR 903) per month in benefits.

She has received loans from her family but she has stopped going to them for help because she feels bad about having others support her.

“The reason why I had to take this step now is because I paid for sports registration for the kids at the end of last month. You can’t always let the children suffer. Something has to happen in this country because it has become so family-unfriendly. Just the food prices alone don’t allow everyone to have the same opportunities anymore,” the single mother added.

A 64-year-old woman who lives alone also went to Fjölskylduhjálp for the first time yesterday. She said it had been difficult to take this step but even more difficult to observe how many people were queuing for food.

“You’re about to break out in tears when you see this, how many young people there are in the line. That’s horrible, some people had two or three kids,” the woman described.

“I received bread and food for warm dishes that last me for almost a week and there is also a store there selling clothing at a reasonable price,” she added.

The woman is a developmental therapist but has been unable to work lately due to illness. She receives ISK 130,000 (USD 1,200, EUR 838) per month in benefits. “They have been decreasing and at the same time the rent has increased to 86,000.”

She has five grown children and seven grandchildren. “I have good kids and they have made a good living for themselves. They don’t know I have sought help now. They support me in many ways but I just find it so humiliating.”

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