The “Food and Insertion Program” is an uncommon approach to helping people who benefit from food aid. It helps them to manage a balance diet while creating social links.

What is the Food and Insertion Program?

Launched in 2003, the program is managed by the French government, food aid associations, and food industries, and is included in the National Program for Food (Programme National pour l’Alimentation, or PNA). Each year, it helps more than 1 million people through more than 6,000 associations.

The program has two main objectives:

  • To promote the improvement of nutritional balance and prevention of nutritional deficiency for people who are in precarious situations; these people are often the victims of unbalanced diets.
  • To create social links and to start insertion.
©Xavier Remongin/ Meal in the Cafeteria of Saint-Fargeau-Pont-Thierry

©Xavier Remongin/ Meal in the Cafeteria of Saint-Fargeau-Pont-Thierry

A concrete and smart implementation

The tools used to implement the project (e.g., calendars, posters, etc.) are very simple and easy to use, with the purpose of initiating dialogue about food and therefore strengthening social links.

400,000 calendars with nutritional recipes are distributed each year.  These calendars also give tips and provide games for children that will educate them about healthy diets.

Since 2007, the recipes have come from a contest between the associations. Another contest was launched in 2012 to encourage innovative and social initiatives in every association.

The program also offers posters with nutritional tips, with over 35,000 posters projected to be distributed in 2013. The posters have different slogans which aim to promote dialogue between associations and people about food, nutrition, and money. They also promote simple foods, which are the basis of healthy and cheap meals.

To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, the program asked French chef Gérard Cagna to participate in the program.  He rewrote the recipes of the 2013 calendar and prepared a fish soup for the associations.