Carrefour, Conad, Margherita Distribuzione (Auchan and Simply supermarkets), Coop … While Italy is badly hit by the coronavirus epidemic, the situation of the poor in the Boot is becoming more and more critical. Faced with their distress, several large supermarket chains decided to put their hands in their pockets by reducing the score of the poorest by 10%. The reduction is made on the expenses of those paying with food vouchers distributed to the most deprived.
These groups thus respond to the call launched on Saturday by the president of the Italian council Giuseppe Conte, when he announced the launch of these food stamps financed by the State and distributed by the communes. He had invited the large retailers to apply a reduction of 5 to 10% to those shopping with these vouchers. “With this reduction (…) the Conad cooperatives intend to make a concrete contribution to the effort that all the economic players in the country are making to allow many families to face with greater protection this period difficult, “said Conad in a statement.
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The government has released 400 million euros for these food stamps. “We have to build a chain of solidarity, no one will be left alone,” promised Conte. According to an estimate by the main Italian agricultural union Coldiretti, an additional 500,000 people need help to eat because of the consequences of the epidemic, in addition to the 2.7 million who last year had benefited from food aid through associations. like Caritas or Food Banks. The union reports an increase of 25 to 30% of requests for assistance received in March by these associations.
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In Sicily, customers tried on Thursday to leave a supermarket without paying for the food they had taken there, saying they no longer have any money. As in all of Mezzogiorno (southern Italy), moonlighting supports a large part of the population in Sicily.
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However, these households cannot claim the aid provided by the Italian government for those who would suffer a loss of income due to the sharp economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.
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