Fight against precariousness: Alain, “the friend of the poor”, opens a solidarity restaurant in Évry-Courcouronnes

A delightful scent permeates the newly furnished premises on the Place de la Commune in the Épinettes district of Évry-Courcouronnes (Essonne). At a back table, Marie-France, 72, feasts on a chicken mafé. “I’m not greedy, but that’s all I’m done with,” smiles the pensioner. The sauce is so good. »

Like others, she has already become a regular at Cuisines de Eûka, the new solidarity restaurant opened by Alain Bomboko, the president of the local association “Les Amis des Pauvres” who already launched a solidarity market a few months ago. .

Open from Monday to Saturday, the restaurant offers very generous dishes for 8 euros, 6 euros for students and pensioners, such as the famous mafé chicken, but also donuts, another house specialty, or even fish, meatballs… Unsold meals are then distributed to the poorest in Évry-Courcouronnes, but also in Corbeil-Essonnes, Ris-Orangis, Grigny and Fleury-Mérogis.

“We have been mobilizing against precariousness for three years, testifies Alain Bomboko. Unfortunately there are more and more requests. So I decided to open this charity restaurant to help people struggling to make ends meet. »

“Alain Bomboko is generosity incarnate”

Without subsidies, he therefore relies on customers to be able to bring his concept to life. “It’s simple to help us, just come and have lunch”, smiles Alain Bomboko. By having a good and abundant meal, he allows one to be offered to a person in need. And for people who can’t come to the restaurant, we also deliver. »

It is Cédric, one of the ten volunteers of the association, who takes care of the deliveries, with his personal scooter. “I got involved to do good for people,” he says. There is an excellent atmosphere within the association, I feel comfortable there. So much so that Nina, his wife, has also become a volunteer. “We meet people, we feel useful. Human contact, generosity, solidarity are very important values ​​for me, and this is what the association carries forward. »

Evry-Courcouronnes, 12 November 2022. Alain Bomboko (right) is the president of the Friends of the Poor association. He has opened a solidarity restaurant with a dozen volunteers, including Cédric, who takes care of delivering the ordered meals. LP/Cecile Chevallier

Several people have already become regular customers of the restaurant. Like Marie-France. The 72-year-old retiree confides that she is “overdrafted by 300-400 euros every month”. “I deprive myself a lot,” she says. The pants I wear, I’ve had them for over 25 years. It’s getting worse and worse, everything is increasing: the health insurance, the expense, if you think that a liter of oil costs around four euros, it’s madness. I have a trick, when I manage to buy four chicken legs, I cut them in half so they last twice as long. »

“Gives a boost in these very difficult times”

So the opening of this supportive restaurant allows him to indulge in a hearty and tasty meal from time to time. “It’s a great initiative,” applauds Marie-France, who has worked all her life in foundries, hospitals, restaurants and even for a shoe chain. “It gives a boost in these very difficult times. However, when I was young, I experienced difficult times, for example we didn’t have running water. But I had never encountered so many difficulties. »

Poor people, Alain Bomboko meets more and more. “All unsold dishes are distributed in looters, he says. In the morning, we also offer breakfast to the homeless in the area. And in the evening we distribute groceries collected from department stores, mainly donated by Franprix in Évry and Carrefour City in Corbeil-Essonnes. »

The man whom some call “the friend of the poor” also thinks of Christmas. For the past three years, he’s been organizing the “Children’s Smile” operation. “It breaks my heart to imagine that it will be a white Christmas for the children,” explains Alain Bomboko. So we are launching a new collection. All people who have toys in good condition can come and deliver them to the solidarity restaurant until December 10th, we hold a service every Friday and Saturday. We will distribute them on December 23rd and 24th. I dress up as Santa Claus for the occasion. »

“Alain Bomboko is generosity incarnate”, concludes a young volunteer on an internship in this association which “does good”, he says.

The restaurant is open from Monday to Friday from 10:30 to 21:00, 2, place de la Commune in Évry-Courcouronnes. Information and orders delivered at 07.73.34.67.79. or by email amis_despauvres@yahoo.com

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