help The association relies more than ever on the generosity of the French
A Restos du Coeur volunteer works at the Cesslin center in the 11th arrondissement of Paris on November 29, 2010. Illustration photo — S. Ortola/20 Minutes
After the Covid, inflation: the successive crises have clearly worsened the situation. precariousness, to the point that some families have to choose between “food and heating”, alarmed the Restos du Cœur, which is launching its 38th annual campaign on Tuesday. “The first effects of the inflationary crisis are already being felt. feel”, underlines the association founded by Coluche”: since last April, the number of beneficiaries has jumped by 12% and their difficulties have increased, since 60% (instead of than 50% a year earlier) live in “extreme poverty” the poverty line (551 euros per month). Some 30% don’t even have any resources.
Heating costs taken into account
To better take inflation into account, the association has just adapted its rules: to assess whether a person is eligible for help, she now takes into account not only her income and her rent, but also her heating costs. Because “at the moment, everything is expensive, it’s difficult!”, notes Ami, 39, a beneficiary met by AFP in a “Resto baby of the Heart” to Paris, where she came to get something to dress and feed her 11-month-old daughter. In this center, mothers who come with their toddlers in strollers can pick up essential supplies, but also ask for advice or learn how to do it. cook purees for their babies. “Clothes, nappies, milk and all, &cced it helps us a lot,” smiled Ami, stuffing a can of infant formula into his purse. groceries.
For Patrice Douret, the president of “Restos” leads poor people to more and more renunciations. “People used to say to us, 'I'm not warm, but at least I can eat'. From now on they sacrifice themselves on health. or energy. But in addition, they know that they will not have much to do. eat,” he points out.
Fear of “scissors” ;
Other charities are making the same observation. Food banks, which are also launching their national collection this week, “ a 9% increase in demand, or 200,000 additional people welcomed,” in a press release. And nearly half of households having requested Last year, aid from Secours Catholique had an insufficient budget to feed themselves on a daily basis, warns the association in its recent annual report on poverty.
However, to meet the growing needs of the most vulnerable, the associations must themselves deal with rising costs, which raises 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 appeal more than ever to donations from the French, who contribute to three quarters of the association’s needs. A generosity all the more necessary since last year, the traditional Enfoirés concert had to to be registered without audience at; cause of the Covid, which created a lack of earn 4 million euros for the association – out of a total budget of around 200 million –, which the public authorities have not compensated for.
A tax credit for certain volunteers
Another cause for concern: “We have a lot of modest donors” when they can continue to give” in this context of inflation. In addition, among the tens of thousands of Restos du Cœur volunteers, many are themselves modest or even precarious, and some are now finding it difficult to cope. pay their fuel costs to travel to distribution centers. Expenses that entitle you to a tax benefit… but only for those who already pay. taxes.
“This creates inequality. between our modest volunteers and the others,” deplores Patrice Douret, who has been calling on the government, for years, that on this specific point the reduction be transformed in tax credit, to also benefit low-income volunteers. A request that he will have the opportunity to reiterate on Tuesday to the Minister of Solidarity Jean-Christophe Combe, expected in a distribution center in Asnieres-sur-Seine, near Paris, for the launch of this 38th campaign.