Food banks are launching their traditional national collection Friday at the exit of supermarkets, hoping to collect enough food this year to cover the increase in the number of applicants in France.
This quarter, “the attendance of our associations has increased by nearly 12% compared to last year,” warns Laurence Champier, general manager of the French Federation of Food Banks.
“The health crisis has clearly tipped over people in precarious situations”, underlines the general manager. In September 2020, “50% of beneficiaries had been using food aid for less than 6 months”.
No less than 110,000 “orange vests” are mobilized on November 26, 27 and 28 in nearly 8,000 stores in France to collect food.
Food banks hope “to return to the figure of 2019, or 24 million meals” collected. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, donations represented the equivalent of 18 million meals distributed.
These foods should preferably be easily stored and have a high nutritional value. “Canned vegetables, fish or meat, ready meals, pulses”, specifies Laurence Champier, not to mention “pleasure products” such as coffee or cakes to which beneficiaries rarely have access.
Food donations collected during these three days represent approximately 11% of the total food collected over the year. Most of it comes mainly from supermarkets, wholesalers, agricultural producers and the agri-food industry.
The digital platform monpaniersolidaire.org also makes it possible to buy “virtual baskets”, which can now be intended for a specific local food bank. This solution, which also targets a “younger” audience, was launched in 2020, during the health crisis.
The Food Bank network in France supports more than 6,000 associations and has nearly 7,000 permanent volunteers.