Hidden poverty

I write this blog to provide tips and recipes that promote good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. But I don’t just want to help people in the kitchen; I want to help people who don’t have a kitchen.

I live in Switzerland, an extremely rich country. In beautiful Switzerland, a lot of things are expensive including health insurance, housing and food. Many people find it a struggle to get by. Although poverty is often hidden from the public eye, it does exist here. Of the approximately 8.5 million people living in Switzerland, more than half a million are poor. Many are homeless and often hungry.

Although poverty in Switzerland is lower than many of its European neighbours, 6-7% of the Swiss population lives in poverty. Groups largely affected are immigrants, one-parent families, people living alone, people with minimal education, the unemployed and the retired. Southern Europeans and foreigners from other countries are the most affected.

Alexandra helping out at Partage.

To start off the New Year, last week, my daughter Alexandra and I volunteered through Serve the City Geneva and did some food sorting at Partage – La banque alimentaire genevoise, the main food bank here in Geneva. Twice a year, Partage collects and sorts unsold food and hygiene products from Geneva supermarkets and companies. The collected goods are then donated to various associations and social services, which in turn, provide to those in need in Geneva.

Partage fights against hunger and food waste, and plays a key role in protecting the environment. It also offers rehabilitation support to individuals who are unemployed, thus giving them a chance to reenter the workforce.

I am proud to support Partage, a foundation that helps thousands of people in Geneva who are struggling to make ends meet. To make a donation to Partage, please click on the icon below.

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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