THE charity Les Restos du Coeur has launched its 31st winter campaign to provide food for needy people – after suspending activities earlier this month in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.
Les Restos – which was forced to cease operations in the capital for four days earlier this month after the Paris attacks – will be putting its mobile kitchens on streets across France with the aim of feeding about a million people between now and March. The charity plans to distribute more than 128 million hot meals during that time within its 2,000 centres, which open daily.
More than €93 million in donations and legacies were received during the winter campaign of 2014-2015, making up more than half of the charity’s total resources. The rest of its money comes from grants and subsidies and ticket sales for its Les Enfoirés shows – an annual series of fundraising concerts and performances in Paris, Lyon and other locations.
This winter Les Restos hopes that an extension of the Loi Coluche – which allows donors to claim part of the money they give to charity back against their tax bill – will encourage even greater generosity. Under the law up to 75% of donations are eligible for a tax cut, to a maximum rebate of €529.
Last year 950,000 people were welcomed at Les Restos’ centres – compared to just 70,000 when the organisation started up in 1985.