Students in France wait for food handouts as COVID-19 ruins their jobs

Every Tuesday, Moroccan student Chaimae Irfaq hands out food parcels to dozens of hard-up students in the foyer of her Paris university residence, and takes one home for herself.

Irfaq arrived in France in October to complete her business degree and expected to take part-time jobs to supplement the 700 euros a month her father gives her.

But she said the coronavirus meant there were few jobs available, with bars and restaurants closed and businesses feeling the pinch from COVID-19 restrictions.

As she volunteered for the charity Restaurants of the Heart, she said, “If I had work I wouldn’t need the (handouts).”

Inside her parcel there are rice, pasta, dairy products, fruit, vegetables and some meat. Once a month, shampoo and sanitary products are added.

Students around the world have been hit by a lack of the part-time jobs as baristas, waiters and shop workers, which many rely on to pay tuition fees, rent and living expenses.


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