France is known for having a high standard of living and a population with richly diverse roots. However, despite the many major developments that have improved the country, hunger in France is an ever-constant concern for the citizens and its political leaders.
According to a 2013 poll from the Pew Research Center, 20 percent of French citizens reported that they struggled to afford enough food — a troubling statistic given that the 2012 GDP per capita in France was estimated to be $35,548. Approximately 6.1 percent of the French population lives under the poverty line, with 15 percent of French citizens making less than $1,130 a month.
The most predominant areas of poverty in France are accounted in Seine-Saint-Denis within the Greater Paris region. Despite these numbers, governmental officials and citizens are making tremendous strides to reduce hunger in France.
In 2004, efforts from the Association Francaise pour la FAO (AFFAO) formed the French Alliance Against Hunger in order to pull resources from humanitarian institutions, trade unions, political organizations, local groups, private sectors and agricultural and environmental associations in order to combat hunger in France and in the rest of the world.
The French Alliance Against Hunger aims to educate, coordinate and exchange ideas in order to form one unified voice in the battle against effectively ending world hunger. Moreover, the French Alliance Against Hunger is a key player in the International Alliance Against Hunger that was formed in 2002 during the World Food Summit.
A further commitment to end hunger in France has been made by government leaders in partnership with the United Nations. In 2015, France was one of the countries that vigorously supported the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end extreme poverty, hunger and inequalities while protecting the overall integrity of the environment.
Effective cooperation between French leaders and French citizens has also been crucial in reducing hunger in France. French Municipal Councilor in Courbevoie, Arash Derambarsh and other officials have made incredible efforts to reduce hunger in France by limiting the amount of food wasted in the county which totals 8 million tons a year.
By rallying public support, Derambarsh was able to unanimously pass legislation that forced supermarkets to donate untampered, safe food to local charities.
This law went into effect as of July 2016 and so far has received positive acclaim from French citizens and the global community.
Supermarkets that are larger than 4,305 feet are now required by French law to sign formal documents with charities to ensure that they will donate any leftover food. Large supermarkets that do not sign these agreements face fines in excess of $83,000.
Furthermore, this legislation not only requires spoiled food to be used in composts of animal feed but also protects against food bleaching. Food bleaching is a practice by supermarkets to deter people from eating the food that they throw away in dumpsters.
As a result of French governmental action to reduce hunger in France, many individuals hope that these initiatives will inspire other nations to adopt similar policies.
– Shannon Warren