À Bordeaux comme partout ailleurs, les distributions alimentaires pour étudiants font le plein – France
“This week, we are at almost 500 people, it’s the first time in Bordeaux”. In the Gironde capital, food distributions that appeared with covid-19 are increasing for students, more and more of whom are suffering from inflation to feed themselves.
“How far will it go? asks Esther Thiebaut, head of the local branch of the Linkee association, which, since January, has been organizing inventory distributions in the city center and on the Talence campus. Twice a week, beneficiaries can leave with a basket of 6 to 7 kg: starches, seasonal fruits and vegetables, preserves, hygiene products or school supplies. That is approximately 1.4 t distributed each time. “I find it good, they give large quantities which are sufficient for two weeks”, appreciates Mélodie Tomsik, 20, a work-study student at the IUT Bordeaux-Montaigne.
The association is also considering opening a third distribution location “to unclog” the other two, in this academy where more than 130,000 students are enrolled.
“I have no right to anything”
Sometimes these distros are their only help. “I never fit in the boxes, I have no right to anything”, explains a 39-year-old doctoral student who came to collect her package and that of a friend at the Info Jeunes Nouvelle-Aquitaine space, near the hotel. of town.
43% of students skip meals
According to one Linkee’s national survey of approximately 4,000 student beneficiaries of these distributions“96.3% live below the poverty line”, set at €1,102. Two out of three have a “rest to live on” of less than €50, once the bills have been paid. And 97% are cutting back on the quality and quantity of their food, 43% savor meals.
Florian L’hoir, 23, in his 3rd year of a psychology degree, remembers the success of the first solidarity grocery store set up by his association, Karavan bordelaise, on February 16. That day, nearly 800 kg of foodstuffs, collected from a supermarket, were distributed to 220 students. In October, a second distribution favored 206 students with “ultra-varied” profiles, some from large schools.
It’s very good, but, at the same time, it sucks to be there
These operations, “it’s very good, but, at the same time, it sucks to be there”, he declares, adding that “everyone is welcome”, even those who do not consider themselves not “precarious enough”.
A skyrocketing cost of living
In 2022, the cost of student living increased by 6.47%, according to Unef, a figure higher than inflation which was 6.1% at an annual rate at the time of the back-to-school survey carried out by the union. “It’s a little complicated financially, I live only on my scholarship”, testifies this 22-year-old geography student, who benefits as such €1 meals set up in early 2021in the face of the health crisis, in university restaurants – two are under construction until the summer on the Talence campus.
In previous years, the young woman “was doing better at the end of the month” with similar incomes. “The prices have increased, it shows in the supermarkets”, abounds Sidney Asselin, 20, who came to pick up his parcels with his girlfriend. For his part, Milan, 20, explains that he “watches all the promotions” when he does his lessons and goes to the distribution to have a more “responsible” consumption.
If you don’t eat, I don’t see how you can study
“The courses are expensive,” insists Gaëlane Ferré, 23, a student at the Regional Institute of Social Work. The distributions allow him to make “serious savings, especially on fruits and vegetables”. For others, they are simply essential. “A student attributed to me that since the covid crisis, he had trouble paying his bills and being able to eat,” reports Margot Beuvry, a 19-year-old volunteer during a distribution on the Talence campus. Or, “if you don’t eat, I don’t see how you can study,” says Jaurès Koukpemdji, 26, a film student who has been enrolled in this distribution since one.