Hundreds queue for food parcels in wealthy Geneva

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Reuters in Geneva
Sat 9 May 2020

More than 1,000 people queued on Saturday to get free food parcels in Geneva, underscoring the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the working poor and undocumented immigrants even in wealthy Switzerland.

The line of people stretched for more than 1km outside an ice rink where volunteers were handing out about 1,500 parcels to people who started queuing as early as 5am.

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“At the end of the month, my pockets are empty. We have to pay the bills, the insurance, everything,” said Ingrid Berala, a Geneva resident from Nicaragua who works part-time. “This is great, because there is food for a week, a week of relief … I don’t know for next week.”

In a nation of nearly 8.6 million, 660,000 people in Switzerland were poor in 2018, the charity Caritas said, particularly single parents and those with a low level of education unable to find work after losing a job.

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