French municipalities have begun distributing food vouchers to help families cope with spiralling inflation, France 2 TV reports.
The certificates, which can be cashed in at supermarkets, include 5, 20 and 30 euro denominations, and are being distributed by some city administrations.
“Everything has increased in price, everything, even pasta”, pensioner Bernadette Chacornac told the outlet. “I have my partner, I have my son, so for all three of us together that’s quite a sum”, she said.
Lionel Buchet, mayor of the commune of Saint-Arcons-de-Barges, confided to France 2 that “food has jumped terribly in recent weeks, in recent months”, and expressed concerns that “this is just the start”.
French consumers have felt the pinch of rising food and fuel prices, with the country facing an inflation rate of 4.8 percent in April, and the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee) expecting this figure to jump to six percent in June. Inflation has been driven by a 25 percent jump in fuel prices, and a six percent rise in food costs, with bread products, pasta, cooking oil, poultry, fruits, and vegetables hit hardest.
Insee expects inflation to continue rising in the months ahead, predicting that further rises will “remain dependent on geopolitical developments around Russia” – a reference to the crisis in Russia-West relations over the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin commented on the European Union’s moves to reduce purchases of Russian energy last week, saying that such restrictions were being introduced for “absolutely political reasons” at the behest of Brussels’ American “overlords”.
Read More: French Cities Resort to Distributing Food Vouchers Amid Inflation Crisis