Earning a Living

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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!

 FairyNuff wrote:
In reply to Albert the InfoGipsey, I volunteer with the local Red Cross in Indre. They distribute food to needy people, but the food they pick up from the Banque Alimentaire is not free. Perhaps it's different in each department.

Strange! I'll double-check this with our branch and also with the Red Cross -- my wife knows the local president and I've done a bit of pro bono work for them.

From the Banque Alimentaire web site:

Que faisons-nous ?


Les Banques Alimentaires collectent gratuitement des denrées auprès de plusieurs sources d’approvisionnements :

Les producteurs donnent des fruits, des légumes, du lait, etc...
L’industrie agroalimentaire donne toutes sortes de produits : secs, congelés, réfrigérés, en conserve,...
La grande distribution donne quotidiennement les produits retirés des linéaires avant la date limite de consommation.
L’Union européenne donne, par l’intermédiaire du Programme Européen d’aide aux plus démunis (PEAD) des produits céréaliers et laitiers.
L’Etat donne par l’intermédaire du PNAA des produits carnés, des fruits, des légumes
Le grand public donne, à l’occasion de collectes dans les grandes surfaces, des denrées non périssables.

Les Banques Alimentaires trient, gèrent et stockent ces denrées dans leurs entrepôts dans le plus grand respect des règles d’hygiène et de sécurité alimentaire.

Les équipements nécessaires (chambres froides, camions frigorifiques,...) sont financés, comme les frais de fonctionnement, par des subventions des collectivités, des dons d’entreprises, de clubs services et de particuliers ainsi que par les participations de solidarité versées par les associations distributrices.
Certains collaborateurs ont la qualité de Responsables Hygiène et Sécurité alimentaire. Ils ont été formés pour contrôler la qualité de chaque produit collecté et distribué.

Maybe you mean the bit in bold italics?

Albert the InfoGipsy

"So welcome to the Citadel where the question is 'Am I?'"
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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!


I have just got in from my first day as a volunteer for the banque alimentaire in my commune, and I have to say it is well worth giving up a few hours a fortnight to help out. Many thanks for all who have replied and offered advice to my original post.

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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!

 cooperlola wrote:

Are you referring to the board this is posted on? 

Yes - us simple folk only bother with headlines.



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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!

Well done, Jetlag. I have tried to enlist British volunteers to work for Restos du Coeur in the past, and never been successful. It is such a pity that only few expats volunteer to work for charities here, as it is such a great way to practice the language (or learn it), as well as giving invaluable insight into the underbelly of the country one has chosen to live in. Very rewarding work - although, quite tiring, don't you find?
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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!

Well we are not your area 5-element, but we are both volunteers with Restos du Coeur.  We think they are a brilliant charity.  In our area the banque alimentaire operate in the summer when we don't so we are just gearing up for the new start.
It does help our French - none of the other volunteers speak English - and when we first started caused amusement amongst the "customers". 
There have been English customers too...
So, Yes go for it if you want to help out.  We have chosen to live in France so should contribute as we would  (and we did) in the UK.

Mrs H

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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!

Kudos to Mrs. H and (presumably) Mr. !!!

This does warm my heart, it truly does. Maybe more people would do it if they had the possibility - of course it is not always feasible for everyone, for various reasons.

But, there might just be a branch in your area. As for Banque Alimentaire, you can ask at your Mairie.


If you would like (and are able) to have a go, it is usually just for one morning a week (or maybe 2) during the winter campaign (starting about now?) until the end of March. It often means giving out specific food items to specific people, it is all very carefully worked out. It can be fairly hard physically as there is a lot of shifting of boxes etc, especially as the distribution centres are usually unheated (they have to be!), so, get your longjohns and fleeces out. Of course, there are other jobs too, it's not just for sturdy types!!

Sorry to hijack the Banque Alimentaire thread, I just got a little enthusiastic here!Smile [:)]

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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!

Toujour Pret, moi and husband. We always volunteered for just about everything. And as was said, sometimes we had to 'join' and pay an association to help out. Never, thought that we might be accused of 'working' for money fdr ourselves.

Many things in our village wouldn't get done if it were not for volunteers.
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Re: voluntary work.....advice needed please!!!!

Do you have to have police checks, fill in forms etc before being accepted as a volunteer in France?
I used to do a few voluntary jobs in England before we came here, and they were just starting to tighten up the process there - put me off one job (helping in a charity shop.) And it's even stricter now, especially if you want to work with children. I think you have to pay for checks to be done, then have a sort of permit.

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