Red Cross – NRK Rogaland – More young people receive food aid according to local news, TV and radio

Red Cross – NRK Rogaland – More young people receive food aid according to local news, TV and radio

– After the rent is paid, I have NOK 3,000 left. Living is almost impossible. That’s why food here is very important to me.

Rich Hong is a student and one of the many diners Social service Right in the center of Stavanger. Along with eating here, he also contributes as a volunteer.

Three days a week, dinner is free for visitors aged 13 to 25. They also serve packed lunches and breakfast.

Dinner is served at 17.30, then guests sit around a long table to get to know each other and talk to each other.

Photo: Åse Karin Hansen / NRK

More and more are coming.

In January, ten young people each time used the offer in Stavanger. Now it has increased to 60.

The Red Cross sees similar increases in all 17 cities with Swedish public administration.

Young people have breakfast at the Swedish Public Works Institute in Haugesund

A young man, who wishes to remain anonymous, had breakfast at the public administration in Haugesund.

Photo: Simon Elias Bogan / NRK

Over 100,000 visitors

In total, there were 88,000 visitors throughout last year. More than 100,000 people have visited so far this year.

This is linked to the fact that there are more young people with poor incomes, according to the Red Cross.

One Experiment from OECD shows that Poverty is increasing among the young, while the poor elderly are less. 13 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds are considered poor in the OECD. In Norway the figure is 26 percent.

– For some, the food available here is the meal of the day. Those who had little before now have even less because of increased prices, says Vilja Mundheim, a youth adviser at the Stavanger Red Cross.

Mats Kimre takes lunch at the Swedish Public Works Agency in Haugesund

Mats Kimre often stops by the general administration in Haugesund to have breakfast before the start of the study day.

Photo: Simon Elias Bogan / NRK

When NRK visits the federal agency in Haugesund and Stavanger, the young people participate. Everything from refugees to young people who didn’t need help before but now say they do.

There are also some because of the social aspect.

– This is a very good project because we students don’t have much money. It’s very social, says Mats Kimre, who collects packed lunches in Haugesund.

One meal for the day

– Requiring free food is stupid. It would be nice if everyone came from a furnished home, but that’s not the case, says Kim Tollefsen.

He and Odin Sandal-Hansen are volunteers who now make 200 portions of dinner a week in Stavanger. Everything is eaten.

Kim Tollefsen

Teens can take home leftovers from dinners. Everything is going away, says Kim Tollefsen.

Photo: Åse Karin Hansen / NRK

– Food spreads love. It’s a bit silly, but I know a lot of young people appreciate what Kim and I are doing. Many come back, and then they have a slightly wider smile when they see us, says Odin Sandal-Hanson.

Odin Chandal-Hansen

– Food is social and it’s a great way to show that you care about others, says volunteer chef Odin Sandal-Hansen.

Photo: Åse Karin Hansen / NRK

Poor young people are on the rise in Norway

Monika Kuiser, head of the OECD’s social policy division, says one reason for youth poverty in Norway is that young people here leave home earlier than in many other countries.

But, he says, in 40 years it has gone from a very low number to today’s number.

More and more young people say they don’t have enough money to buy food. The figure was 14 percent in 2018/2019, and by 2021/2022 it has increased to 17 percent of 15- to 29-year-olds, according to the OECD.

Another survey by Fafo shows that many food distribution centers in Norway are struggling to provide enough aid.

Don’t stand in line for food bags

– We have seen a huge increase in the last year. Young people tell us it’s good to come to the Red Cross because they don’t have to stand in line for food bag providers. Because there everyone sees what they are looking for, says Haugesund Red Cross President Paul Eggen.

But it costs money to prepare packed lunches and breakfasts for 80 young people three days a week.

This autumn, the offer in Haugesund was saved with a help divisive action This brought in over NOK 300,000. A compilation about Football match FKH-Braun Received NOK 60,000.

Food was served at the Federal Agency in Stavanger

This is Ukrainian borscht or beetroot soup. A dish created after Ukrainian youth were asked what they wanted for dinner.

Photo: Åse Karin Hansen / NRK

– Govt should provide emergency package to NGOs which we can spend on food for needy people. We have limited funds, but enough customers to talk about, says Eggen.

The government has no plans for an emergency package, but is giving extra millions to nonprofits and religious communities before Christmas.

– We’ve also given more money to the pot going towards affordable or free activity offers for children and young people. This year, Fellesverken received NOK 9 million from the project, says Minister for Children and Families Kjersti Toppe.

Rich Hong

– If I lived very frugally, I could get NOK 500 a week for food. So it helps the food budget to eat dinner here, says Rich Hong.

Photo: Åse Karin Hansen / NRK

Get some money, but not enough

In Stavanger, most of the budget now goes to food instead of activities.

The Red Cross is applying for money anywhere. They applied for a total of NOK one million from the municipality. The municipal director has set his sights on NOK 50,000, but the majority of parties have insisted on getting what they applied for.

– It’s wonderful that we get what we applied for. This means that the same offer can be made next year as well, says Turit Myhra, head of the Stavanger Red Cross.

Rich Hong and his student friends have calculated whether they could do without a free dinner at the Red Cross.

– We could manage, but we had to live very frugally. I usually eat very little, but I eat a lot when I’m here.

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