Artificial intelligence and innovative data dashboard ensure that more people in need of food can be helped

Amsterdam, June 20, 2024 - Voedselbanken Nederland (Dutch Food Banks) has joined forces with Kickstart AI to gain insights into the problem of food poverty in the Netherlands using artificial intelligence. Together, they have developed an innovative data dashboard to better map people experiencing food poverty and provide them with the necessary assistance.

Recent research by Ipsos I&O, commissioned by the Red Cross, shows that 9% of the Dutch population is struggling with food insecurity. Although many of these people are eligible for food aid, they do not always receive it. Reasons for this can include unfamiliarity with the available assistance or shame in asking for help.

How the dashboard works
The special data dashboard provides Voedselbanken Nederland with valuable insights by mapping poverty at the district level and identifying food bank locations. The tool also analyzes the accessibility of these locations by public transport, car, bicycle, or on foot. This information is crucial because there may still be many people who are not being helped. To take effective action and provide assistance where it is most needed, food banks want to know where these people are located. The dashboard enables them to make data-driven decisions and strategically expand their services to areas with the greatest need.

After a successful pilot at several food banks, where the data dashboard mapped food poverty at the district level, it is now being investigated whether the dashboard can be rolled out more widely. During a thematic afternoon for members of Voedselbanken Nederland - organized by the Onder de Radar project group - Kickstart AI presented the current version of the dashboard to representatives of food banks. The board of Voedselbanken Nederland hopes that the deployment of the data dashboard will help in the fight against food poverty. 

Currently, 9 food banks are working with the special data dashboard, and the number is increasing. The goal is to eventually support all 177 local food banks with AI in the fight against food poverty.

Letty Broere-Doornkamp, Voedselbanken Nederland:
"The collaboration with Kickstart AI is an important step forward in our fight against food poverty in the Netherlands. With the help of the innovative data dashboard and AI technology, we can better identify and support people experiencing food poverty. This enables us to deploy our resources more effectively and better reach people who need us. We are pleased with the expertise and commitment of Kickstart AI to tackle this urgent problem together with us."

Sander Stomph, CEO and founder of Kickstart AI: "We are proud of our collaboration with Voedselbanken Nederland. This project demonstrates how AI technology can be used to address societal challenges and make a positive difference. We hope to eventually support all food bank locations in the Netherlands and help them better map and provide the necessary assistance to people living in food poverty using data and artificial intelligence." 

Additionally, a pilot project has been launched with Voedselbank Delft and Kickstart AI using an AI chatbot to lower the threshold for requesting assistance. Potential new clients can ask questions to the chatbot in their own language and receive the necessary support. The bot uses simple language and has a friendly, non-judgmental tone that encourages people to seek help. 

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About Voedselbanken Nederland
Food banks provide free food to people in the Netherlands who are temporarily unable to make ends meet. We do this exclusively with volunteers, whom we prefer to call unpaid professionals. In addition, by collecting and distributing food, we aim to contribute to reducing food waste. Currently, there are 177 food banks. Together, they have over 500 distribution points, ensuring that there is always a distribution point near our clients, and they do not have to travel far. 

Contact: Henk Staghouwer,, +31 6 52761518

About Kickstart AI
Kickstart AI's mission is to accelerate the adoption of AI in the Netherlands.  To achieve this, the organization collaborates with businesses and society to develop practical AI solutions for their most pressing challenges. With a rapidly growing community of over 4,500 data scientists, software engineers, and AI experts, Kickstart AI brings together the pioneers in the field of AI in the Netherlands to exchange ideas, best practices, and knowledge, thereby stimulating AI talent in the country. The organization was founded by Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM, and NS with the aim of giving the AI ecosystem in the Netherlands a boost.

Contact: Anoek Eckhardt,, +34 682554023

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