Icelanders Donate Food on Facebook

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Icelanders Donate Food on Facebook

Food donations on Facebook.

Photo: From the group Matargjafir on Facebook.

The Facebook group Gefins, allt gefins! (‘Free, everything for free!’), whose membership currently stands at 17,500, yesterday started a campaign to donate food to those in need, visir.is reports.

The group is about a year old, and was started as a forum for people to give away things they no longer needed, such as furniture, clothes, toys and books, to those in need of them.

More than ten people put up photos on the page of unused food products, which had sat on shelves or in freezers for some time, in the hope that someone could use the food before it went bad, rather than have it expire. Many responded to the offers and accepted the donations.

Following this impromptu online campaign, a new group, Matargjafir (‘Food donations’), was founded for people to share excess food when they are able to, and to receive it when they are in need. The group already has over 1,600 members.

“I know what it is like not to have food at the end of the month, and particularly at the moment when people are paying taxes [that they owed according to the assessment of their tax returns], some people don’t have a lot left over. I decided to take a look at what I had in my cupboards and whether I could help someone,” said Kolbrún Sara Aðalsteinsdóttir, one of the people who shared her food with others on the page.

Asked about the efficacy of Mæðrastyrksnefnd (‘Subvention for mothers’), which donates food to those in need, Kolbrún said it’s often not sufficient to tide people over in hard times. “I know many who have to use their services but still have next to nothing.”
 
She encourages others to do what they can to aid their peers in need. “Look into your kitchens. Often you have something that you aren’t going to use, things you buy but are eventually going to throw away.”

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