French McDonalds Becomes Soup Kitchen Amid Lockdown

Story By: Ernest Bio BogoreSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency:  Newsflash

This McDonald’s restaurant has been turned into a soup kitchen by volunteers to feed poor people who are starving during the coronavirus pandemic.

The McDonald’s restaurant in the Saint-Barthelemy area of Marseille in southern France has been “requisitioned” to centralise food aid for the most destitute.

Salim Grabsi, an activist from the Marseille working-class districts union, who worked with several other citizens’ groups to start the initiative, said: “There was a failure to assist people in danger.”


Among the volunteers was Kamel Guemari, who headed the union that fought to keep the McDonald’s restaurant from closing down in Saint Barthelemy, as there is a serious lack of employment in the area.

However, it shut its doors in December last year and the franchised business went into liquidation.

According to reports, on 3rd April, an email was sent to McDonald’s France requesting access to the closed McDonald’s for “an urgent humanitarian operation”. But Grabsi and his fellow volunteers friends did not get a response so together with their lawyer, they decided to requisition the premises after the liquidator reportedly agreed.


According to Grabsi: “With coronavirus, this misery is now obvious. The odd job has disappeared, and we have to help ‘those who are dying of hunger'”.

According to the media in there are bananas, pineapples, yogurts in the pantry of the restaurant, while in another room, there are dry goods. On the tables of the old fast-food restaurant, “lunch baskets” are being prepared.

According to Julie, one of the volunteers, these baskets are “enough to last 2-3 days, morning, noon and evening, for a family of four”.

Grabsi said the local authorities have been slow to intervene, adding: “We are not professionals working in the field of poverty, this operation is also intended to call on the public authorities”.

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