Iftar for All: Ramadan handouts highlight food insecurity in Paris

For the second year running, hundreds of volunteers across Paris and its suburbs joined the 'Iftaar for All' campaign to hand out free food to people in need to mark the Muslim month of Ramadan. As inflation and precarity tip more people into poverty, charities say they’re seeing a rise in the number of people seeking help.

“People don’t see us. It’s like we’re invisible. If it wasn’t for food parcels, I’d die of hunger,” said Nelly, a well-dressed, middle-aged woman, who chanced upon one of the ten Iftaar for All stands delivering food to people in need in and around Paris.

It was a biting cold evening in Paris and Nelly was walking towards the spot where she usually picks up free warm milk when she saw a table heaped with food parcels, which volunteers from the charity Muslim Hands were handing out behind the posh Printemps department store.

“Food assistance is vital for us,” Nelly said. “In my case, I have only 10 euros for the next 10 days until the end of the month.”

She is one of thousands of people in Paris and its suburbs who received food parcels, or a warm meal, during the one-day Iftaar for All event organised by Hmarket supermarket and six French charities on 28 March.

Food for all

It was the second edition of Iftaar for All, a yearly event aiming to distribute food to all people in need – not only Muslims – during the month of Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast during the day.

Ramadan, a lunar month, this year began on 11 March and runs until 9 or 10 April.


Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Charity sounds alarm on poverty risk for one in five French people
Poverty harder to bear for women and children, French report claims
Paris court overturns police ban on food handouts for migrants, homeless