Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Geneva food bank Partage has been mobilized. Overview of the different measures taken from the beginning of the containment.
In mid-March 2020, an emergency cell – bringing together the Colis du Coeur, the Centre Social Protestant (CSP) and Partage – is set up to provide a distribution of food vouchers to individuals or families in precarious situations. These vouchers are provided to anyone with a certificate issued by approved social services. Demand has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic: every week, nearly 500 new beneficiaries receive a certificate for this emergency measure. By the end of April, almost 7,500 people living in Geneva had already received support.
In addition to Colis du Coeur, several other solidarity grocery stores, which usually receive goods from Partage, no longer call on their volunteers as a precautionary measure; they ask Partage to provide them with vouchers for their beneficiaries, instead of basic necessities.
Purchases of basic necessities
In order to compensate for the absence of unsold supermarkets since the beginning of the pandemic, Partage is making purchases, notably of fruit, vegetables, milk and eggs, to meet the needs of partner associations.
From the end of April, in order to relieve the expenses of modest families, Partage distributes diapers and/or sanitary towels directly in its warehouse every working day to beneficiaries of its partner associations. Volunteers are recruited especially for the occasion, in order to ensure a telephone permanence for making appointments.
The food bank lends a hand to the Caravane de Solidarité association. To support their work, Partage provides basic necessities: pasta, rice, hygiene products, etc. Thus, for the distribution on May 9, 2020, Partage provided nearly 8 tons of food to the Caravane de Solidarité. Every Saturday in May, thousands of people in financial difficulty wait in Les Vernets, sometimes for several hours, to look for a parcel of food worth 20 CHF.
Samedi du partage
The June 2020 collection in Geneva stores must be cancelled as a precautionary measure. To compensate for the loss of goods, an online collection of monetary donations will be launched on 5 June via www.samedidupartage.ch.
This will help Partage to continue distribution to around fifty associations active in the fight against precariousness in the canton of Geneva. More information on the associations supported by Partage : follow the link.