Amsterdam just opened a FREE supermarket for vulnerable families

From Tuesday, some of Amsterdam’s vulnerable families won’t need to stress over paying for groceries. Why? They’ll be able to shop for free in Amsterdam Nieuw-West’s  supermarket, Fris. 

The only catch? They have to accept help so that they can support themselves after a span of eight months, reports de Volkskrant

The person behind the idea

Social entrepreneur, Abdelhamid Idrissi, had the idea to open a free supermarket over a year ago due to the visible poverty he would witness in Amsterdam. Telling the Volkskrant hee would “smell, see and hear poverty.”

In 2010, Idrissi founded Studielazen, a foundation spread over Amsterdam and Zaanstad where children can go to for help with schoolwork and parents are welcome for training and advice.

READ MORE | 15 dang smart things Dutch people do

The idea to extend the foundation was four years ago when his volunteers saw girls on their periods having to wipe their seats clean due to not having access to menstrual hygiene products.

As a result, Idrissi started collaborating with the Linda Foundation, a foundation that creates positive action for families in the Netherlands who are struggling financially. Together, they collect free tampons and sanitary pads. 

READ MORE | If you’re homeless in the Netherlands, what support is out there? 

However, he realised that children needed more. He contacted other entrepreneurs from the advertising world and came up with the idea of Fris, a free supermarket that always has full shelves.

A shame free zone

This week, Idrissi’s supermarket will open its doors to 25 families. However, in the next eight months, he expects to build this number up to around one hundred. 💪

Idrissi hopes that Fris will become more than just a supermarket, but also a place where people can turn to and feel safe. 

Translation: 2022 had the heaviest inequality & poverty. Thanks to 100s of donors, from € 0.50 to 61k, the goal of €250,000 has been reached! Supermarket FRIS is coming! See you soon, dear friends!

Many residents are hesitant to ask for help due to shame. For this reason, Idrissi tells de Volkskrant that “we work on a trust basis. So people don’t have to prove, like with the Food Bank, that they are poor.” 

Idrissi makes it clear that Fris has a clear goal: to ensure that the business community gets involved and that the children from these families sleep carefree once again. 🥰

What do you think about this supermarket being free for vulnerable families? Tell us in the comments below! 

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Francesca Burbano
Francesca Burbano
Francesca is an international at heart but moved to the Netherlands to get her degree in media and communication. While she's not a big fan of the cold weather and biking (for good reason — she's been hit by bikes three times already), she fell in love with the canals, bitterballen, and the 'gezelligheid' of Dutch culture. When she's not writing, you'll find her reading thriller books, hitting her personal records at the gym, and cuddling up with her Ragdoll cat.


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