More than 1,000 families received food donations from the charities Maedrastyrksnefnd and Fjölskylduhjálp Íslands on Wednesday. A large group of people had to leave with nothing.
Christmas cookies. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.
Ásgerdur Jóna Flosadóttir, chairwoman of Fjölskylduhjálpin, told Morgunbladid that it is to be expected that the number of people seeking help from charities will continue to grow.
“More and more people who have been struggling to make ends meet and haven’t showed up so far are coming forward,” she said.
Prisoners at Iceland’s maximum security prison Litla-Hraun presented 36,000 homemade Christmas cookies to the representatives of the charity project Jólaadstodin on Monday to include in Christmas food distributions, Fréttabladid reports.
“They are geniuses. They were like machines when the project kicked off,” commented Eyrún Gudmundsdóttir, supervisor of the prison’s kitchen. “We worked non-stop for about a week and after that the place was completely packed with cookies.”
The initiative came from the prisoners themselves and a few companies donated the ingredients.
Jónas Árni Lúdvíksson, chief baker, thought of making Christmas cookies because of the situation in society and wanted to contribute towards joyous holidays for those in need.
Harold Copperfield from Florida worked as a baker in his teens so he was a welcome addition to the crew.
“I think the prison system in Iceland is unique,” he commented. “It enables prisoners to participate in projects like these and gives us a chance to use the time constructively by giving back to society.”
Meanwhile, the government agreed at its last cabinet meeting not to send any Christmas cards from ministries to domestic recipients this year but instead donate money to charities involved in food distributions, an estimated amount of ISK 6-9 million (USD 52,000-78,000, EUR 39,000-59,000). They had the same arrangement in 2009,.
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