Thionville. The Restos du Coeur are banking on fundraising to end the winter

The Restos du Coeur are appealing for help to meet a constantly increasing demand: + 24% in one year. A national collection will take place in Thionville on March 3 and 4 in seven supermarkets in the hope of replenishing stocks and overcoming the difficult winter cape.

Catherine ROEDER
March 01, 2023 at 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, distribution day at the Restos du Coeur in Thionville. Full carts cross empty shopping bags in the entrance of the local association which welcomes more and more beneficiaries. “311 families registered and 830 people helped”, counts Norbert Beato, the local manager. In one year, the Thionville branch has seen its number of beneficiaries skyrocket (+24%) and new profiles of rights holders appear. This spectacular, cyclical increase required an adaptation of the grids which takes into account energy bills. “We see retired widows and ‘poor’ workers arrive who, once they have paid for electricity and gas, are drowned”, continues the volunteer. These “new poor” come here to find something to eat, to dress, but also a bit of human warmth distilled by a team of 48 volunteers at their service and listening to them.

fragile balance

But this significant increase in needs, in particular food, has a price, that of lack. “We lack everything, non-perishable products such as fresh products, but also baby diapers, hygiene products,” says Marie-Andrée Cardoni, assistant to the center manager. As proof, Norbert Beato opens the refrigerators one after the other, all dangerously empty. “Fresh products mainly come from large retailers”. Other contributors such as local bakers or the European Union provide essential food on their own scale, allowing the center to operate. But the balance is fragile and the state of the reserves requires a slowdown.

The rays are dangerously empty. The collection of March 3 and 4 will be beneficial. Photo RL /Armand FLOHR

“From two liters of milk per person, we have gone to one litre”, confirms Marie-Andrée Cardoni. Some hygiene products, such as diapers for babies aged six months to two years, are no longer distributed due to insufficient stocks. Les Enfoirés, whose show contributes 15% of the total budget allocated to Thionville, and the national collection organized in certain supermarkets on March 3 and 4 will help to bail out a little, a lot? “Given the context, we fear a decrease in donations. People are already in high demand,” observes Norbert Beato who, like a majority of volunteers, will participate in the two-day collection to be held in seven Leclerc, Carrefour, Lidl, Auchan and Aldi stores in Thionville.