Day 51: Rising Poverty

Wednesday, 6th May

Not enough to eat

I just read a deeply disturbing article in the NYT: nearly 1 in 5 young children in the US are not getting enough to eat as a result of the Covid crisis. It seems hard to believe. We’re talking about the United States. No need to go that far: a growing number of people here in France are struggling to feed their children, too. This is a problem particularly because the kids no longer get the one nutritional meal a day from the school « cantine ».

In Geneva, one of the ten richest cities on the planet, and just one hour and a half away from Lyon where I live, a shocking number of people have been turning up at food aid centres and food banks – many of them illegal foreign workers like maids and nannies without any safety net.

Cultural bail-out

Here in France, president Macron finally announced the long-awaited measures to help France’s hard-hit cultural sector. The government will be extending its unique unemployment system for arts and entertainment workers up until next summer (2021): this move known as « année blanche » is what many had been asking for as they are worried the sector won’t pick up again in 2020.

There will also be compensation for film and TV productions. Cinemas, theatres, concert halls etc are to remain shut for now – cultural events bringing together more than 5,000 won’t be able to take place until September. Smaller venues might be allowed to reopen this summer.

A somber entry, despite a bright sunny day and a lovely bike ride with my kids, which took us on the ice cream route and up and down many steps (leaving bikes at the bottom) – nothing better to wear them out and make sure they fall asleep at night despite confinement!

Running down Lyon’s Old Town’s many many steps

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