Energy crisis, inflation, reduced resources… In Occitanie, the Restos du coeur will have to reorganize their operations to cope with growing poverty.
Distribute less to satisfy more requesters. This will be the motto of the 39th Restos du Coeur campaign which starts this Monday. According to the national president of Restos du coeur, 35 million euros were missing from the coffers of the association created by Coluche in order to balance the 2023 financial year.
And on the opening day of this new campaign, a fear remains for all the centers: how to cope with the ever-increasing influx of candidates?
100,000 beneficiaries in Occitanie
In the region, the association has already welcomed more than 100,000 people in 2023 compared to 84,000 last year. “10,000 to 25,000 people will be impacted by the reduction in the extent of access to food aid,” judges the association, which is considering reducing the quantity of food distributed.
In Gard, 17 centers and 620 volunteers serve 1.4 million meals to 25,000 beneficiaries. We also emphasize that “for the first time, more than 50% of beneficiaries are under 25 years old”.
“Eliminate two meals per week”
Same observation in Hérault where Alain Capillon explains that 4 million meals have already been served this year. “If we don’t change anything, we will have 20% more this winter. 5 million in 2024 is impossible, for both logistical and financial reasons,” summarizes the president of Hérault restaurants. “So we will probably have to withdraw two meals per week from each beneficiary,” he continues.
If we add to this the increase in the price of food and electricity bills, the situation is alarming. “If in 3 years we have a national deficit of 250 million euros, we will have to close,” concludes Alain Capillon.
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