Who knows about voluntary associations? Here is one : les restos du coeur. Founded by the comedian Coluche in 1985, the Restos du Coeur is an association that provides food aid to the neediest. Volunteers serve free meals to those in need. They distribute home-cooked meal baskets, hot meals for the homeless, special help for babies and medicines. Normally, they are balanced meals. For example, a meal consists of meat or fish, a vegetable, pasta or rice, cheese or yoghurt, fruit and bread. In addition, there are hygiene products such as soap, toothpaste and also basic foodstuffs such as milk, butter, sugar, flour, etc. Since its creation, it offers many things such as accommodation centres where one can find a bed, a meal, the possibility to wash oneself and to meet a doctor; support in the search for employment; workshops to accompany children and teenagers at school and also adults because reading, writing, calculating and communicating are indispensable things. The aim of these workshops is to avoid living in a precarious situation and restore self-confidence and re-establish links with the school. The resources of the restos are diversified: essentially we find the generosity of the public which ensures half of the financial income of the association, then there are subsidies and finally the Enfoirés products. Enfoirés is the name of the group of artists who, after the death of Coluche, organised a concert to express their support for the association. From that day on, this concert became a regular event in which CDs and DVDs were produced to increase the association’s income. Each DVD or CD sold allows the destruction of 18 meals. A large national collection is organised every year in March in the supermarkets and in addition to this, daily collections are organised by volunteers throughout France in order to collect from the supermarkets, for example, products often destined for destruction because of the proximity of the use-by dates. This year the Restos du Coeur’s big collection was organised on the weekend of Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March and because of the war part of this collection was redistributed to refugees from Ukraine with accommodation centres.
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