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Bernard Arnault Pledges 10 Million Euros To French Food Bank

Bernard Arnault Pledges 10 Million Euros To French Food Bank

Bernard Arnault, the chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and the richest man in Europe, had pledged 10 million euros to the French food bank charity Restos du Coeur. The donation was announced on Tuesday by his sons Antoine and Frederic Arnault, who visited the charity's headquarters in Paris with the French Minister for Solidarity Aurore Berge.

Restos du Coeur, which means Restaurants of the Heart, was founded in 1985 by the late comedian and actor Coluche. The charity distributes food packages and hot meals to millions of people in need across France. However, the organization is facing a financial crisis due to rising inflation, increasing demand, and shrinking donations.

According to Patrice Douret, the president of Restos du Coeur, the charity has already served more than 170 million free meals in 2023, which is 35 percent more than in 2022. He warned that if nothing is done, the charity could be forced to close its centers within three years. He also said that the charity may have reduced the amount of food given to its beneficiaries and turned away up to 150,000 people this winter.

The donation from the Arnault family is a response to Douret's appeal for funding. Antoine Arnault said that it was a "spontaneous gesture" by the family following Douret's "moving call" on Sunday. He added that the family and the LVMH group are "responsible" and "united" and try to help whenever there is a crisis situation.

Berge thanked the Arnault family for their generosity and urged other companies to follow their example. She said that Restos du Coeur is a "magnificent association" that holds a dear place in the hearts of the French people.

The Arnault family is known for their philanthropic activities in various fields. In 2019, they donated 200 million euros to help rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral after a devastating fire. They also converted some of their perfume factories to produce hand sanitizer during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have also supported other causes such as education, culture, and environment.

The donation from the Arnault family is expected to help Restos du Coeur continue its mission of providing food aid to those who need it most. The charity relies on volunteers, donations, and public subsidies to operate. It also organizes an annual concert called Les Enfoires, which features famous singers and celebrities, to raise funds and awareness.

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