Faced with the food crisis, the president of Restos du Coeur is sounding the alarm

5:45 p.m., May 14, 2022

Here is his platform: “Food aid in France is likely to face major, perhaps unprecedented, difficulties in the coming months due to the growing number of crises, foremost among which is the war in Ukraine, with its repercussions on food and energy. Added to this are the consequences of climate change, which affects agricultural production and directly affects the prices and availability of foodstuffs. The global food crisis we are going through will have repercussions in the coming months.

The trade-off between accommodation, heating, travel and food will become more difficult every day.

Inflation, rising food and energy prices will hit the poorest hardest. The trade-off between accommodation, heating, travel and food will become more difficult every day. After having been hit hard by the Covid epidemic which accentuated all their difficulties, particularly in terms of access to food, the poorest people will today be the most affected by galloping inflation and the difficulties supply. Already, the prices of food products increased by 3% in April in supermarkets. The impact on the activity and attendance of food aid schemes will soon be felt.

The economic balance of solidarity associations could be deeply weakened, because all sources of food aid supply in France are affected: direct purchase of course – at Restos du Coeur, our costs of purchases have increased on average by 10% in recent weeks – but also the European food aid programme, which has demonstrated how essential it is in recent years to ensure the free supply of basic products. However, it is very dependent on European markets, themselves destabilized. Finally, the contexts of price increases and shortages are unfavorable to food donations. For example, donations from dairy producers to our association have been divided by five in one year.

Dairy producers’ donations to our association have been divided by five in one year

Faced with this, the creation of the food voucher, promised by the re-elected president, is certainly useful but will not be the miracle solution. Because it will not be able to reach all of the vulnerable groups – in particular the most excluded supported by associations -, because it will not cover all the needs, it will have to register in complementarity with the associative actors , who respond to emergencies and carry out a mission to support people.

It is essential that the next government immediately anticipates this “scissor effect” that solidarity associations are bound to experience, ie an increase in their needs correlated with a reduction in their resources. Over and above all the measures to be taken to combat poverty in the long term, public authorities at all levels must mobilize to create new support tools for food aid actors, in order to meet the needs, deal with the crises that collide and promote access to local, quality food for the poorest.

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