Solidarity food initiatives in Bordeaux in the face of the Covid-19 crisis

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With the containment, solidarity initiatives have multiplied in France. Also in the Bordeaux region, various actors have mobilised their resources. When the shops were closed, many restaurateurs had offered to donate their food rather than lose it. After these anti-waste initiatives, other companies and organizations are working to provide meals to people in need. Solidarity meals, sponsorship, help for students in precarious situations, carrying meals to the elderly… Against a background of solidarity, it is also an opportunity for companies in the sector to continue to run despite theabrupt cessation of their usual activities.

Charlie and Tom, solidarity lunch baskets that make people work

A family business in Bordeaux, the “Charlie and Tom” caterer is back in service to provide packed lunches for those in need. To date, more than 700 meals based on fresh and seasonal produce have been distributed. The beneficiaries are primarily health facilities and EHPADs, whose functioning has had a significant impact since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Recently, underprivileged students have also been able to take advantage of this.

In order to finance this solidarity initiative, the caterer uses donations from individuals and businesses, in the form of sponsorship. So today, this action has raised nearly 8000 euros in donations. With the donations of the last few days, “Charlie and Tom” will be able to prepare 480 additional meals.

Beyond its solidarity dimension, this initiative is also an opportunity for the caterer to partially maintain its activity and mobilize part of its team. Indeed, the company’s 3 restaurants stopped operating in mid-March. Yet for the two managers of the brand, contributing to the collective economic effort remained important.

Nevertheless, to operate solidarity lunch baskets need the participation of companies. Thus, in collaboration with the association “100% patronage”, corporate donors can benefit from a tax advantage of up to 60% of the sums paid. “Charlie and Tom” insists: donations don’t have to be important. For example, a donation of 160 euros can finance 20 packed lunches.

In detail, 70% of donations are used to purchase raw materials. The remaining 30% goes to logistics, the resumption of activity and the wage bill.

Following the enthusiasm generated by this solidarity initiative, “Charlie and Tom” is even considering the possibility of setting up a permanent foundation to maintain this patronage action, even beyond the context of the crisis.

Food baskets for Bordeaux students in precarious situations

Students are among the populations most affected by the crisis. Loss of work, stoppage of internship (and therefore loss of compensation), delay in financial aid… Those already in a complicated situation in normal times find themselves without the possibility of buying food.

To remedy this, the city of Bordeaux, in collaboration with the Food Bank, CROUS, the Chamber of Agriculture, Talence, Pessac and Gradignan have set up a dedicated food platform. Open to all students confined to bordeaux, this student solidarity initiative allows the distribution of food parcels every week. Basic necessities, non-food, are also part of the distribution. To benefit, student applicants must register on the platform.

Several delivery points are used to receive these baskets. Places to visit are planned in Bordeaux center, Campus de Carreire, Talence Campus, La Bastide, Saint Genesis. In case of inability to move (disability or illness) deliveries not couriers are planned. The goal is that all students can be assured of eating every day.

A civic and solidarity commitment of citizens and professionals for seniors

Other solidarity initiatives have emerged with containment. Thus, the civic reserve mobilized by the government proposes to help its neighbor according to different needs. Food and emergency assistance, exceptional childcare, social ties with isolated frail people, community solidarity, or remote school support.

In Bordeaux, the main demands concern the shopping of essential products for the most fragile neighbours and the distribution of basic necessities and meals to the most needy. Despite the large number of requests, the offers are often complete. Proof ofcitizens’ investment in these solidarity initiatives.

Also on the front line in this crisis, seniors can fortunately continue to benefit from the portage of their meals. Thus, to cope with and absorb the growing demand at this time, this public service is open to more beneficiaries. Several specialized private companies also continue to provide services so that our seniors do not run out of money.


City of Bordeaux, “Meal Portage, Food and Delivery,” updated on 28 April 2020

Charlie and Tom, Covid-19 Initiative

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