Volunteers represent the backbone of the social assistance and food in France. And in these times of health crisis, they are less numerous to be able to help. And the trend is not optimistic.
Since the beginning of the crisis the outbreak of the Covid-19, social inequalities are increasing. Of households with modest incomes are experiencing a decline in their purchasing power. In these conditions, organizations and associations dedicated to social assistance and food have to face an increase in demand. Yet these associations of general interest are also hard hit by this new situation, and this in a double way.
Growing demands and declining resources, an equation is insoluble
The beneficiaries of the restos du cœur, food Banks and other voluntary associations are more numerous since the beginning of the crisis. Applications are also most important. At the same time, the associations have had to deal with the sudden stop of the economy. The agro-food companies, the restaurants, the markets have closed their door.
With these closures, the resources of the associations could not be adjusted, and it gets in the reserves of food or cash, which raises the question of the next day.
Volunteers invited to stay at home or return to work
However, another problem ruins the organization of these associations. Since mid-march, the elderly are encouraged to stay at home. And it is, therefore, the reservoir of volunteers from these associations, so that it cannot move.
30 % of the 70,000 volunteers of the Restos du cœur have more 70 years, 50 % for the food Banks. The desertion of arms has been offset, for the containment, as employees, traders, self-employed, who wanted to be helpful during this period of partial unemployment. Since 11 may, these new volunteers will reflect the path of the work, while the seniors are still encouraged to protect themselves by staying home.