Police give 1.5 tonnes of confiscated food to charity

Police in the Alpes-Maritimes who confiscated 1.5 tonnes of boxes of fruits and vegetables from non-licensed traders, have donated the food to charity Restos du Cœur.

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During a patrol, police are reported to have stopped some traders on the street in the town of Drap, and found that they did not have authorisation to trade the fruit and vegetables they were selling.

This led to the confiscation of 179 crates full of a tonne and a half’s worth of food. Rather than throw away the produce, the police sought the necessary approval from the prosecutor of Nice to take the boxes to the local Restos du Cœur branch, a charity that offers food and distributes meal packages to the homeless and disadvantaged.

The haul included oranges (21 crates), artichokes (67 crates), potatoes (one crate), apples (12 crates), lemons (six crates), clementines (32 crates), pineapples (five crates), tomatoes (28 crates) and courgettes (seven crates).

As for the traders, they were later bound to appear before a correctional tribunal in Nice, to answer charges for the alleged illegal trading of produce.

Les Restos du Cœur - Les Relais du Cœur (short for Les Restaurants du Cœur, or Restaurants of the Heart/of Love), is a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on distributing hot food and food packages to those who need it, as well as helping them to enter back into society and gain improved accommodation standards.

This is not limited to homeless people, but also low-income families, older people or young adults, who need it.

The charity was founded in France by the comedian and actor Coluche in 1985, and began as a free soup kitchen sponsored by residents of Paris.

It now continues to fundraise and, as of 2015, was operated by over 66,000 volunteers across the country, including over 100 departmental organisations across 96 national departments.