Food Bank of the Tarn: “Today there is no explosion in demand”

The Basics In the Tarn, requests for food aid have increased, but while the Covid has not exploded, thanks to state aid that has been fully operational. But we have to be very careful for the rest and the end of the health crisis.

As every morning, the Food Bank volunteers are present to fill the vans and bring food to one of their thirty partners, regardless of whether they are associations or CCAS. The technology is oiled, efficient and fast. Next to them an important visitor. Éric Pelisson, Commissioner for Combating Poverty in the Prefecture of the Occitania Region. During his visit to the premises, the volunteers confirm that “there has not been an explosion in inquiries. For collections, they noted a slight decrease in donations from individuals, which was offset by arrivals from the area. During this time the commissioner helps a little with unloading one of the vehicles before resuming his manager’s habit. “Why I’m here?” After visiting the very large warehouse of the Food Bank in Toulouse, I wanted to get to know a medium-sized center like the one in Albi. A structure that was able to organize itself perfectly and has entered into a partnership with 30 associations and CCAS. This operating mode is essential. It’s not just collection, but also storage and logistics so that everything works perfectly, ”summarizes Eric Pelisson.

Poverty in Occitania

“Occitanie has particularly affected the departments on its territory. If the poverty rate is 16% of the population, that figure is much higher in the Eastern Pyrenees at 22%, ”the Commissioner analyzes. And for the tarn? “We are average for the region. But here, where rural areas matter, solidarity continues to play a role. “”

It remains to be seen whether the arrival of the Covid has had any impact on the rise in precariousness and poverty. “It’s very difficult to answer that question today, even knowing that RSA requests in the department have increased by 5%. It is complicated because the state has played its full role in cushioning the crisis by expanding aid to the long-term unemployed, paying rent premiums and helping businesses. The Covid period did not lead to an explosion in requests for food parcels, except for students who did not have a summer job. The consequences of the crisis have a “delayed effect”, ”confirms the regional commissioner.

Questions about post-Covid

Are we talking about the post-Covid era? “You have to be very careful. The turnover for these associations in our region will increase from 21 to 25 million. If the economy picks up, it will be fine. Otherwise… ”But the Commissioner does not want a simplistic speech.

“It is very complex to develop the numbers on poverty. Of course there is this bar from 1000 euros per month. However, money poverty is only one of the thresholds. There are homeless people, single parents with women who are forced to work part-time. Over-indebtedness. The rural misery that often remains hidden. It is a whole. Without forgetting all those who do not know the aid they are entitled to. That would be the case for 70% of young people, “adds Eric Pelisson, who concludes:” Aid in 2020 has completely cushioned the crisis. Today everyone, whether large or small companies, employees or job seekers, is waiting for something. Find the rest and activity and better days. “”

The Tarn Food Bank in numbers

30>. This is the number of associations and CCAS partners in the food bank.

3 million>. This is the number of food equivalents distributed by the bank.

11,000> beneficiaries.

59>. Orange vests. It’s the permanent volunteers who collect, sort, and redistribute.

3> permanent employees.

647>. Metric tons. This is the amount of food that the food bank collects for free at the national level.

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