Solidarity associations note a sharp increase in requests for food aid

Poverty is gaining ground. As Christmas approaches, The voice of the North conducted an investigation with several solidarity associations to draw up an inventory of the evolution of poverty in Roubaix, in the North. Indeed, the city is already, in normal times, one of the poorest in France, according to a recent report by the Observatory of Inequalities.

The observation is clear: the solidarity associations questioned all observe a sharp increase in requests or registrations. In question, inflation and the energy crisis which reveal new needs.

Attendance that has almost doubled

In the Epeule district, for example, the solidarity grocery store “Au Panier garni” has seen registrations increase sharply since its opening in the spring of 2021, a year and a half ago. The waiting lists have also been stopped.

A little further, at the social restaurant “L’Univers” – a canteen which offers meals at 1 euro – attendance has almost doubled since March, going from 50-60 covers to almost a hundred at lunchtime. The association Friendship Sharing, which welcomes around 1,600 families a year, has also noticed this trend among people who come for the first time. They are three times more numerous today.

Worried Restos du Coeur

In addition, the Secours populaire had recorded an explosion in membership during the health crisis. The phenomenon repeats itself. Its Roubaisian director estimates that 500 new families have registered for the food request since the start of the school year.

Finally, at Restos du Coeur, where the winter campaign has recently started, we note a 17% increase in requests in the Lille metropolitan area during the first week of the campaign. The first indicators of this increase appeared this summer. “We had more people in the summer of 2022 than in the previous winter, when usually it is the opposite”, worries the president of Restos du Coeur.

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