Solidarity Grocery — Villette Friendships

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Bicycle scooter for the Solidarity Grocery

Foundation Notre-Dame, bearers of hope

In 2018, the acquisition of scooters for the Solidarity Grocery was possible thanks to the grant of the Notre-Dame Foundation. These scooters allow volunteers to act quickly as they are as close as possible to the needs expressed in the district.

Solidarity Grocery - Villette Friendships

(Article published the AMI of the 19th of June 2014)

Authors: Simone Duhem, courtesy of Laurence Tassi

Passing through the Crimean Bridge, you will find the entrance to the Grocery Shop at 3 Place de Joinville. It opens every Friday afternoon from September to June since 2007.

This initiative was born from attention to the daily realities of our neighbourhood, led by the deacon of Saint James, Jean GRAS. Yes, families have real big ones to feed in Paris today. So, mobilizing a whole team of volunteers and with the consent of the parish priest, Bernard Queruel, Jean set up this grocery store. It offers essential food and hygiene products. Today, about twenty families are welcomed every week. These families are sent by social workers on Rue du Pré-Saint-Gervais and Rue Meynadier and receive assistance for a period of a few months defined in advance. Other people can benefit from troubleshooting because they are in a precarious situation without social monitoring.

Let's never forget how difficult it is to ask for help!

That is why it is important to respect the dignity of the people welcomed by asking them for a financial contribution: of course the prices charged are low, between 5 and 10 cts per product.

It is not only about distribution but also about reception: exchange, ask for news, take an interest in the other. That's the role of welcoming volunteers! It's not always easy, especially the first encounter. But one must learn to overcome one's apprehensions to be sensitive to distress. There is a lot to wear, says Marie-Luz, one of the founding members. The thanks are all the more appreciable.

To be able to give, you have to have. The stocks come from purchases at the Food Bank, in local shops and above all from collections organized by Food Banks at the end of November and May for the first time in 2014. The opportunity to give some products at the exit of the stores to the volunteers present!

In November, more than 3 tons were collected from 3 stores and in May 1300 kgs were collected on one store.

It is wonderful and encouraging that many good will come to help, young chaplaincy, older people, even a beneficiary of the Grocery.

Solidarity is lived on a daily basis in Saint-Jacques-Saint-Christophe, the Grocery works thanks to the involvement of parishioners in donations and help.

But the door is open to the one who needs and to the one who wants to serve.

Access: 3 place de Joinville - 75019 Paris

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