A social food shop to help Poitiers students fill their fridges

Épiss’campus, a social grocery store installed on the campus of the University of Poitiers, sells food and hygiene products to students at cheaper prices. A welcome aid when the prices of daily life and energy are rising.

Nur pulls her wheeled basket behind her while browsing the small shelves of the shop. This psychology student came to Poitiers three months ago on a shoestring budget. “I have 2,000 euros for three months to pay for rent, school and food”, he says. For her, getting supplies at this social grocery store on the campus of the University of Poitiers is a breath of fresh air while she waits to find a student job. “I hope to work soon. I am waiting for my residence permit to be renewed”This highlights the Algerian student.

Located in the A8 building of the Poitevin campus, the prices at this venue are very attractive for students on a tight budget: food products are sold at 10% of the store price. Sanitary protection, baby products and everything donated are distributed free of charge.

There I pay 9 euros for the whole basket!

Nazna, 22 years old, student of Economic and Social Management (NPP).

The Mahoran student at AES arrived from Mayotte a month ago. He gives his daughter, cousin and sister a stipend of €596. Too little to support everyone. So he gets his supplies at the Épiss campus.

“All students who come here live in complicated conditions”, Gabrielle Rossignol explains. A 21-year-old young woman has been at the helm of this grocery store since June 2022. Managed by the Agorae association for a year, it gives access to these products to students monitored by a social worker and Crous from the university. .. “The grocery store is available to students with a ‘living allowance’ between minus and €200 per month (i.e. €3.30 per day),” shown on the website of the social grocery store. “We have a capacity of 250 people. Since the beginning of the school year, 134 students have benefited from the grocery store”Gabrielle says.

According to INSEE in France in 2019, 19% of the 18-29 age group is considered poor. Vulnerable population especially in the background of current inflation on daily products and rising energy prices.

So this social grocery store, most of the beneficiaries are completely dependent on it. This is the work of 35-year-old Marie*. The student has just resumed her doctoral studies in English, which she had to put on hold in 2016 to care for her sick son, who died last year. After this drama, he decided to continue his studies where he left off. This single mother of two daughters, ages two and four, lives with RSA. But according to him, this is the situation “managed”although he cannot shop elsewhere. “Here we have a maximum of 10 euros and everything: eggs, pies, fish…”

The groceries come from the Food Bank, the grocery store’s main supplier. “When we don’t have enough, the University helps us so that we can go shopping,” Gabrielle notes.

The Vienna collection association has just published its report on the annual collection held on November 25, 26 and 27. And it is less important than in previous years. “In the context of inflation and the energy crisis we are experiencing, we are seeing a significant reduction in volume” It was written in the press release of the Food Bank. 85 tons of donations were collected against the usual 100.

Managed by 20 volunteers, civic service and project managers, the Episs’campus grocery store is 100% student-run. If the work is hectic, Gabrielle says not to count the hours: “There are people who depend on it.”

The vice president of the grocery store, also an L3 Staps student at the University of Poitiers, even hopes to develop the activity of the grocery store so that it becomes a place of life by organizing activities with the beneficiary students. . “We would also like to develop our partnership and source local products”he says.

The social food shop is open on Tuesdays from 16:00 to 18:00, Wednesdays from 17:00 to 19:00 and Thursdays from 12:00 to 14:00.

To take advantage of this, you must apply for social assistance by email. service.social@univ-poitiers.fr or by phone for Poitiers, Angoulême and Châtellerault students: at 05 49 45 33 54.

Information can be found here.


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