Les Restos du coeur are launching a “capital” meals drive for the way forward for the affiliation | EUROtoday

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Volunteers from the Les Restos du coeur association, on November 21, 2023 in the association's premises in Grenoble, during the launch of its 39th winter campaign.

Objective: 9,000 tonnes of donations. The Restos du coeur begin on Friday 1er March, their annual assortment of meals donations from most of the people, of significance ” capital city “ for the functioning of the affiliation, at a time when requests for assist proceed to flood in.

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From Friday to Sunday, 80,000 volunteers might be current in 7,500 supermarkets all through France to gather meals donations and hygiene merchandise from people who’re procuring. This assortment is ” capital city “ for the operation of Restos du coeur, in response to its president, Patrice Douret.

In three days, the affiliation based by Coluche in 1985 collects 12% of the in-kind donations it receives in a yr. In current years, the amount collected has remained “rather stable”. In addition to this huge quantity, the gathering makes it potential to“ensure balance and diversity” meals distributed freed from cost to beneficiaries, due to the number of merchandise collected.

Logistical and monetary difficulties for the affiliation

Last yr, Les Restos du coeur, which offers 35% of meals assist in France, welcomed 1.3 million folks. This inflow put the affiliation in problem, each logistically and financially. It has due to this fact resigned itself to lowering the variety of its beneficiaries this winter, by decreasing the earnings scales which permit them to profit from meals assist. “So far we have had to turn away just over 110,000 people, but this is not a definitive number, we continue to have a wave of people coming forward to register and refuse some of them »explains Patrice Douret.

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Uncertainty remains over the total number of people welcomed and refused during this winter campaign which extends until the end of April. “Despite everything, we will remain at a very high level of number of meals distributed, very far from what we experienced two years ago”, explains the president. It estimates that between 165 and 168 million meals might be distributed this yr, in comparison with 171 million in 2023 and 142 million in 2022.

At a time when inflation is slowing however meals and vitality costs stay at excessive ranges, Patrice Douret hardly expects the scenario to enhance: “We must take national structural measures to combat this poverty at the roots. » From a financial point of view, the situation seems to have improved for Les Restos du coeur, who hope that their deficit will be covered this year. “We have saved the furniture for 2024, but nothing is won because we must remain present to respond to people’s difficulties”notes Patrice Douret.

Nearly 72,000 weekly meals

In Paris, earlier than the large weekend assortment, a whole bunch of nonetheless empty, folded bins are already piling up on pallets, close to the doorway to an extended brick warehouse, positioned close to the ring street, within the 18e borough. Volunteers put together the bins to load them into vehicles which can distribute them to the 86 shops within the capital the place the annual Restos du coeur donation drive will happen.

In a premises of the Les Restos du coeur association in Grenoble, on November 21, 2023, during the launch of its 39th winter campaign.

“Tea, coffee, chocolate”, ” flour “, ” sugar “ : in the back of the Parisian warehouse, posters have been hooked up to massive empty cabinets. “I made room for the donations that we will receive from the collection”explains Françoise Haouzi, the supervisor of the place. “I would like there to be a variety of starchy foods, because we need four tonnes per week” to contribute to the structure of 72,000 weekly meals, she provides.

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Throughout France, donations collected in shops might be despatched to a Restos du coeur departmental warehouse to be sorted in response to the kind of product and the expiration date. Volunteers will then replenish varied pallets to satisfy the wants of native meals distribution facilities. “Despite inflation, people have not abandoned us: last year, we received 8,700 tonnes of donations and we hope to reach 9,000 tonnes this year”declares Brigitte Lefrançois, head of the affiliation's meals division.

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The World with AFP

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