May 16, 2022

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Students queuing for food in the shadow of the election campaign

Students queuing for food in the shadow of the election campaign

Within the thick brick walls near the Place de la Bastille in central Paris, there is frantic activity. Canned foods piled high. In the wooden boxes the fruit is invited in several colors. Both sanitary napkins and condoms are part of the offer today.

Increased: Bérengèr Poncet is responsible for distributing food to students near the Place de la Bastille. The pandemic has worsened the situation for students. Photo: Santiago Vergara / TV 2

We distribute food three times a week. Shopping carts with a variety of content give students the opportunity to eat for a week or ten days. Bringer-Poncet (24) says that financial insecurity has increased during the pandemic.

She commands troops inside the premises of several student organizations. Bringer is studying to become a speech therapist. At the same time, she is the general secretary of CO´P1, which distributes food to students.

What does it really mean that there is financial security for students?

– Easy to describe. You should run out of money at the end of the month and you don’t have money for food or rent, says Bringer.

live as poor

The queue is spread outside the building in one of Paris’ most elegant neighborhoods. People rush past with elegant bags on their shoulders, or a small silk scarf around their necks. The economic differences are amazing in the area, which is loved by tourists and where only those with the most money can buy an apartment.

Queue stands scrolling on their phone. Many say no to being interviewed. Standing in a queue for food isn’t necessarily something you want to post.

Film and language: Tatiana and Miguel study what they are passionate about, but their finances are limited.  If not for the distribution of food, they would not have achieved it.  Photo: Santiago Vergara / TV 2

Film and language: Tatiana and Miguel study what they are passionate about, but their finances are limited. If not for the distribution of food, they would not have achieved it. Photo: Santiago Vergara / TV 2

 Photo: Santiago Vergara S.
 Photo: Santiago Vergara S.
 Photo: Santiago Vergara S.

– Either we pay the rent or the food. It’s hard sometimes, says Tatiana Vargas (21). Languages ​​taught in Paris. The dream is to become a linguist.

Tatiana’s friend, 20-year-old film student Miguel Suarez, is showing off a box of ravioli, which was one of the options this week. The two are originally from Colombia, but have been living in Paris for several years. Money is not enough. They can’t stand eating in the student canteen.

– When you do not get a scholarship, it costs you about three and a half euros. Miguel says that 3.50 per day is felt in the pocketbook. It’s just under 35 kroner each day. They go to the food distribution every 14 days.

Even if life was tough financially, they wouldn’t do anything else.

Film is my passion. I just want to learn more and more. Miguel says, I hope the day will come when I can show my films to the public.

In 2019, a report was released which showed that one in five students in France lives below the poverty line. The numbers have not decreased, on the contrary, the epidemic has intensified the trend. Many students lost their extra jobs during the pandemic, and relief measures are on hold now that the epidemic is no longer severe.

Poor purchasing power was the big issue in this campaign, but little about the students’ problems. Much was revolving around high fuel prices, while not necessarily a huge problem for students who rarely own a car. Marine Le Pen, the right-wing populist, promised, among other things, that everyone under the age of 30 would avoid income tax with her as president.

Tip I got: Tell a friend Nathan about the food distribution.  It helped him with the economy.  Photo: Santiago Vergara / TV 2

Tip I got: Tell a friend Nathan about the food distribution. It helped him with the economy. Photo: Santiago Vergara / TV 2

Housewives and Blank Voices

Nathan Foursier is 25 years old and goes to theater school. He moved from Lyon to Paris to fulfill his dream of becoming an actor. A friend reported the food distribution, so he financially handed it over. In addition to his studies, he is engaged in accepting orders from a home delivery company.

– I work enough to cover rent and school but not enough to pay for what is outside school and food.. It’s hard.

Young people are over-represented in the population. The oldest are the most eager to vote. Macron received nearly 70 percent of the total votes of those over the age of 65. Without them, it would have been much smoother among the candidates in the last round of elections on Sunday. Now it looks like Macron will win by about 10 percentage points.

Shouldn’t Macron be the youth president?

– Good question. Not much happened. It is not Macron who has helped students or other young people, Berenger says.

Must Vote: For Nathan Forissier, there may be a blank vote at the ballot box.  The only thing he knows is that there is a candidate he should not vote for.  Photo: Santiago Vergara / TV 2

Must Vote: For Nathan Forissier, there may be a blank vote at the ballot box. The only thing he knows is that there is a candidate he should not vote for. Photo: Santiago Vergara / TV 2

Nathan is scheduled to vote on Sunday.

– I know for whom I will not vote in the presidential election, but not whether I will vote for the other candidate or a blank.

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