De Groentedeler is growing!

As we reflect by the end of 2023, we can hardly believe how far we’ve come since we started as a project within Ekklesia Leiden. Thanks to all the generous donations and volunteers, we’ve tripled our harvest in the past two years. We even have our own website now! By writing this blog, we want to express our gratitude to everyone who has helped us evolve from the project ‘BijMei’ into the foundation known as De Groentedeler.


Turning an idea into reality

Growing vegetables for the less fortunate, with this great idea, the sustainability group of the Ekklesia Leiden started the project that would later be called De Groentedeler. As an ecumenical religious community, they purchased 20 subscriptions to harvest at the community supported agricultural garden BijMei in Zoeterwoude. All harvested vegetables would be donated to the customers of De Voedselbank. Ekklesia Leiden called out for volunteers to harvest the vegetables, and the response was very enthusiastic.

“Now, two years later, we are surpassing our boundaries,” says Peter Klapwijk, chairman of Stichting De Groentedeler. “Our harvesting subscriptions have more than tripled, and we continue to aim for more. Both churches and residents of Leiden have contributed to make the growth of Stichting De Groentedeler possible.”


The best initiatives for support

As the number of harvest subscriptions grew, Ekklesia could no longer cover all expenses. They started searching for individuals, companies and funds to contribute. Marga Bakker, secretary to Stichting De Groentedeler says, “Immediately, we saw the best initiatives emerge. There was a special offertory organized by various churches in Leiden, we received support from the Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen, and we fully enjoyed a vibrant fundraising performance at a local theater. It is fantastic to see how many people support Stichting De Groentedeler, and we are already looking forward towards the wonderful initiatives to come.”


We have a website!

With the growth from an Ekklesia project to a non-profit organization, it was time to take the next step. By the end of 2023, efforts were made to create our very own website. Naturally, we are thrilled about this development!

Treasurer Jan Blok explains, “With this website, we can make it easier for people to contribute. It enables the structural donations that we desperately need to continue providing fresh food to those in need. And there is more! Thanks to our newly obtained ANBI status, contributions from our loyal supporters are now even tax-deductible.”


The ambitions continue to grow

If there’s one thing that De Groentedeler ignites, it’s connection. It brings people together, not only to harvest vegetables and work in the garden, but also in connecting with everything the earth has to offer. It raises awareness of where our food comes from and what it means if you don’t have access to sufficient fresh and nutritious vegetables.

Over time, more and more people have wanted to help in various ways, often resulting in ongoing support and commitment. This shows us that De Groentedeler is an initiative that deserves a broader platform. After its success in Leiden, we envision it spreading like wildfire across the Netherlands. After all, how great would it be if we could provide fresh and healthy food for all people throughout the Netherlands?!


Make your own contribution

Are you as enthusiastic as we are, and would you like to contribute to Stichting De Groentedeler? We are happy to receive your support! You can donate, organize a fundraiser event or help us by becoming a volunteer. If you have any questions or if you want to discuss your idea, please let us know. We would love to get to know you!