A market gardening back-to-work project for outreach groceries

The Association Nationale de Développement des Épiceries Solidaires is creating a market gardening back-to-work project and a welcoming space around outreach, nature activities and food in the Orne district.

Social and Employment

Saint-Maurice-lès-Charencey, France

Dominique Moreau

10 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2012/06/05

Project leader

Association Nationale de Développement des Épiceries Solidaires

Association Nationale de Développement des Épiceries Solidaires (A.N.D.E.S.) is one of France's foremost food aid nonprofits. It supports the development of outreach groceries, structures that propose self-service for staple foods to vulnerable persons, in exchange for payment of 10 to 30 % of the usual price. The principle of the outreach groceries is to fight exclusion without promoting crafts, to respect personal freedom, and to promote their durable integration. For 11 years, A.N.D.E.S has participated in creating more than 50 outreach groceries and four back-to-work projects on national markets of Rungis, Lille and Marseille and on the Saint-Charles market in Perpignan.
In France today, it leads the network of outreach groceries and counsels the implementation of new projects for their development and permanence, a genuine player with the regional authorities and nonprofits in meeting the needs of vulnerable publics.

Organic vegetables for the outreach grocery

The "La Grande Maison" project, located at Saint-Maurice-lès-Charencey in the Orne district, calls for creating a market gardening back-to-work facility and a reception space around outreach, nature activities and food, thus encompassing the whole food aid system, from production to distribution. Meeting the criteria of rational agriculture (ultimate conversion to organic) the farm produces open field vegetables mainly intended for food aid (50 % of the harvests) and for conventional distribution circuits (short circuits, collective organic catering, etc.). It also helps provide the local outreach grocery with quality produce.

A leisure space for vulnerable families

The distribution of the produce in a dual circuit (non-commercial sector for food aid and commercial sector) fits into a logic of perpetuating the nonprofit's activity: the equity generated by the commercial activity is invested to promote the social mission of A.N.D.E.S. The produce is sold at different prices according to the distribution circuits (at cost in food aid and wholesale price in the commercial sector). Relying on the built-up heritage and market gardening activity, the project also calls for creating a reception and leisure space for the vulnerable families, in order to ease their access to leisure activities (riding, educational farm, food workshops).

"La Grande Maison" is being supervised by a steering committee composed of all the partners involved in the field of workforce development and agriculture: Direccte, Draaft, DDT, Regional Council of Lower Normandy, General Council of the Orne, Perche Ornais Country, Community of Communes of the Haut Perche, Chamber of Agriculture. These partners finance the project, which also benefits from the nonprofit's equity, and grants from private foundations, including the Veolia Foundation to purchase irrigation equipment and water supply systems.