Hot Meals As prices rise, the number of food aid recipients swells and poverty soars
Asnières-sur-Seine activity center for the launch of the 38th Restaurants du Coeur campaign, November 22, 2022. — NICOLAS MESSYASZ/SIPA
Hearty restaurants, social groceries, soup kitchens… At the time when opens the 38th campaign of the association founded by Coluche, the charitable world is the last bastion for “the poorest of the poor” who bear the full brunt of inflation and precariousness. eating. The associations all make the same observation. As prices rise, the number of food aid recipients swells and poverty declines. explodes.
Since April, the number of beneficiaries of “Restos” – who launched Tuesday their 38th national campaign –, thus jumped by 12% and their difficulties have increased, since 60 % (instead of 50 % a year earlier) live in the “ extreme poverty,” that is, with less than half the poverty line (551 euros per month). In Food Banks, the observed increase in footfall was 9% in the first half, “ about as much in six months as before in two years of Covid”, observes network director Laurence Champier bitterly.
A third goes to bed “in hungry”
In total, 3.2 " 3.5 million people in France use food aid provided by associations – whether through the distribution of parcels, hot meals or solidarity grocery stores – details a study by INSEE published on Tuesday. These beneficiaries are among “the poorest of the poor” and are often forced to deprive themselves to better feed their children.
Their average standard of living only reaches 637 euros per month, significantly less than the 877 euros received on average by all households living below the poverty line, specifies the Institut d’ statistical studies. Nearly a third (32%) of beneficiaries “reported that they often or sometimes went to bed hungry” and two-thirds of those with children say that the adults in their families have to “often or sometimes” reduce their share for the benefit of children.
10 million for students
“We are in a situation where; precariousness increases in our country, in particular the precariousness food”, abounded the Minister of Solidarity, who came on Tuesday to support the volunteers of the “Restos” in a distribution center in Asnières, near Paris. Facing inflation and to the increase in rents or energy prices, the most precarious are brought to “arbitrations” in their budget, he pointed out.
“You make the choice not to eat meat or fish anymore, then you skip meals,” the Minister, before praising the measures of the tariff shield on energy and announcing an exceptional envelope of 10 million euros for food aid to students in difficulty. An amount which we can however fear that it “is not enough,” on France Inter the president of Restos du cœur Patrice Douret.
Donations, three quarters of the needs of the association
To meet the growing needs of the most precarious – who sometimes don’t even have enough to pay for gasoline to pick up their food parcels – the associations themselves have to come to terms with their own costs. ts on the rise, raising fears of a “scissors effect”. However, the Restos du cœur do not plan to reduce the assistance provided to children. their 1.1 million beneficiaries and therefore call more than ever for donations from the French who contribute to three quarters of the association’s needs.
However, “we have a lot of modest donors”, underlines Patrice Douret who wonders “ ; until’ when they can continue to give” in this difficult context. A concern shared by Laurence Champier, of the Food Banks, who are launching their major “national collection” next weekend” with the general public: by donating a package of pasta or a jar of beans to leaving their supermarket, individuals can contribute to 10% of the annual needs of the associative network, she explains. “Every gesture counts,” summed up Laurence Champier.