By Marta Garde
Paris, May 16 (efe-epa).- The lockdown in France has spawned a new solidarity network among that began with a fundraiser for 20 families and has grown into the Link Aid organization, which seeks to continue helping the Latino community as normality is slowly restored.
The idea came from the knowledge many would lose jobs and income during the lockdown that began on 17 March and ended on 11 May.
The founders were overwhelmed by the volume of those in need and the number of volunteers willing to help.
Organizers Carolina Franco and Ricardo Rodríguez took advantage of the Man de los Chorizos’ growing popularity, a start-up distributing home-made Colombian sausages created by Juan David Castillo, to publicize the initiative among the food company’s contacts.
“Thanks to him, who not only helped us with communication, but also got involved with logistics, we managed to collect the money we needed to feed 20 families for a month, in one day.
But we also realized that at the end of the day we had not 20 families, but around 100,” Rodríguez tells Efe.
Users fill in a webform to join the initiative and receive food or 50 euro coupons to spend in supermarkets. So far around 700 people have benefited from the program.
“There are students who have not been able to pay the rent, tourists who have been stranded in Paris or other areas of France, or people who have a job but whose contract was suspended, stopped receiving wages and are in difficult circumstances,” Rodríguez adds.
John Alexander arrived in Paris three months ago and just as he was starting to look for work, the lockdown hampered any prospect of finding employment that would allow him to send money to his family.