European Parliament provides 200,000 meals to the needy during Coronavirus crisis

About 98,000 meals have been distributed from Parliament’s Brussels seat with an estimated 50,000 more dinners supplied from each of its other bases in Strasbourg and Luxembourg.
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By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

02 Jun 2020

The hot dinners are cooked in Parliament’s canteens and then distributed across each of the three cities. This has taken place seven days a week since 11 April for people deemed to be in need.

No decision has been taken yet on how long the service will continue.

In Brussels, the institution has collaboration with various charitable associations including Resto du Coeur Saint Gilles, DoucheFLUX, the Red Cross, Mother Teresa and CPAS Ixelles. Parliament has also now started to deliver meals for medical staff at Saint Pierre hospital.


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In Luxembourg, it cooperates with local associations Abrigado, Caritas and Croix-Rouge and provides 500 meals per day.

About 100 “vulnerable women” have also been offered a shelter in one of Parliament’s Brussels premises. The Samusocial charity of the Brussels Region has been running the fully-equipped installations in the Kohl building since 29 April.

Parliament also provides the associated catering seven days a week to the charity in a cafeteria which has been reorganised to respect “all precautionary measures.”

Part of Parliament’s car and truck fleet is also still being used for the transportation of supplies and delivering meals to nurses and doctors in Brussels.

In Strasbourg, its second seat, Parliament has worked with the Prefecture du Bas-Rhin in operating a Coronavirus screening centre.

This was opened on 11 May in the Louise Weiss building. Four medical diagnostic laboratories from the region are responsible for the tests of the general population, all supervised by the Regional Health Agency of the Grand-Est (ARS) and the Prefecture du Bas-Rhin.

“We are all involved in an emergency which touches people’s lives. This crisis must push all of us, including the institutions, to set a good example” David Sassoli, European Parliament President

Here too Parliament has offered its car and truck fleet for the transportation of supplies.

In its Luxembourg building, interpretation booths, with glass windows, normally used for “external missions” have been provided to a nursing home in nearby Bettembourg.

This has allowed the residents to see their relatives after a long period of confinement without the risk of contamination.

Parliament President David Sassoli said the aim was to address “the socio-economic consequences of the crisis.”

He said, “We are all involved in an emergency which touches people’s lives. This crisis must push all of us, including the institutions, to set a good example.”

He also pointed out that current precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 “have not affected the Parliament’s capacity to ensure the legislative, budgetary and scrutiny functions of the institution.”

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