Despite the bitter cold, Place Jules-Ferry hosted a warm meal, served to music, under a Tivoli, in the presence of many volunteers.
The solidarity meal on Wednesday was full on Wednesday, in front of the Jules-Ferry neighborhood house, from 6 p.m., due to curfew. It must be said that it had everything of a New Year’s Eve dinner, concocted by a trio of chefs (Chez Aristide, La Belle Époque, and Le Bistrot des Halles), based on an idea from Father Certain, parish priest of Saint-Martin in Val de Cognac.
“We had gone on 40 meals, finally we were asked to go beyond. We went up to 90 dishes, almost as many starters, a little fewer desserts, for reasons of time, “explains Amaury Legrand, owner of the Hôtel François-Ier and of La Belle Époque. When the chefs’ participation became known, the hotelier-restaurateur received several phone calls from business leaders who spontaneously offered a financial contribution. This gives us hope that the outpouring of generosity, reinforced around the organization of these solidarity meals on Wednesdays, may experience extensions …
“The important thing is to be there”
On Wednesday, several associations rounded out the menu, with pastries and other dishes just in case. The guests of the day (everyone could come freely without proof) paraded in large numbers in front of the distribution tables, sometimes with their families, welcomed by motivated volunteers.
Yohan, the guitarist of the parish, distilled his joyful notes and warmed the forgotten of the holidays. “Music breaks the sadness. People talk to each other, mingle. The important thing is to be there”, smiles Father Certain, touched by the smile of some of the faithful. Patrice is one of them. The mood is cheerful and radiant, the old backpacker jokes.
While some do not go on forever, others defy the bitter cold, slicing the bib under the Tivoli, seated outside, while volunteers sing along to accompany Yohan.