For more than 25 years, LC Poissy Doyen has supported the national Banque Alimentaire initiative. According to the Fédération Française des Banques Alimentaires, 2,600,000 people living in France depend on food aid distributed throughout the year by the principal charitable associations.
The major annual food collection initiative occurs over the last weekend of November each year. Many Lions clubs in France contribute their time and organization to help collect essential non-perishable foodstuffs.
Under the leadership of LC Poissy Doyen, LCYH provides helping hands alongside two other Poissy-based LCs and LC Maule. The project takes place over a 48 hour period – a Friday and Saturday – at Carrefour Chambourcy and Casino Poissy. The Lions helpers, arriving at 8am Friday to set up the stands, the posters, the collection bags and chariots and the foodstuff guides for the shoppers. Dozens of cardboard boxes are assembled and numbered for the different types of food collected – biscuits, chocolates, cereals, baby food, jam, soups, tin vegetable, pasta, rice, flour, sugar…. all non-perishable items that can be stored for later distribution.
The generosity of the shopping public is both impressive and touching. As the shoppers make their regular shop, they add items from the BA guide and hand them over to the Lions volunteers after the checkout – who then sort them and pack them in the numbered cardboard boxes.
During 28-29 November 2014, a total of 83 Lions members participated in 4-hour shifts over the two day event.
Approximately 650 cardboard boxes were filled this year, representing around 13,000 kgs of non-perishable food stuffs collected. The two day event, is a most moving and rewarding experience. The people who you might think have the least to give can surprise you with their generosity. Some people fill their bags, others provide 3 or 4 items only but every bit helps. One elderly couple approached us just after the checkout but their donation bags were not readily visible. When questioned, they said “no no, you don’t understand, the entire trolley is for the BA collection”
We realise at LCYH that we don’t only have to be the creators of projects to be useful to the local community and to deserving charities. We are equally happy to contribute in collaboration with other Lions clubs, supporting their projects. What matters is that “we serve” and that together we can make a difference in ways that could not be achieved working alone.