‘Soup on the doorstep’ aims to combat loneliness
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Residents in Emmen were surprised by unexpected guests bearing soup this morning, as 32 volunteers from ‘Soep of de Stoep’ took to the streets. The group of volunteers visited eight neighbourhoods in Emmen, and shared out around six hundred cups of split-pea soup (Snert), with rye-bread and ham (a Frisian speciality). As reported by the Dagblad van het Norden.
The initiative is run by Bas Scholte Aalbes, the Social Responsibility co-ordinator at the Huize Odoorn day-centre, and this is the second time it has taken place this year, with around five hundred houses in Borger-Odoorn surprised by 24 Snert-bearing volunteers on October 17.
“In Borger-Odoorn we’ve seen how strong the connective power of food is, and during that campaign we heard several really sad stories of loneliness from both young and old people. We’ve seen that again in Emmen today”, says Scholte Aalbes.
“We wouldn’t have been able to make ‘Soep op de Stoep’ happen without our volunteers. Loneliness is now a structural problem, made worse due to the Coronavirus crisis.”
Also joining in the action were the students and staff at the Carmelcollege in Emmen, who shared around six hundred portions of soup with residents of a nearby apartment complex. Raymond Wanders (PvdA), a Wethouder in Emmen joined together with youth coaches from the 2GetThereCoaching programme to also give out 75 portions.