Monday, September 14, 2009

French Twist on Food Stamps

Do you see that sticker in the middle there. The big one. The one that says cheque dejeuner? If you took even the remotest amount of French in highschool you should be able to easily translate that to lunch check. And it appears that this restaurant, along with MasterCard and Visa, takes le cheque dejeuner. You see, meal time in France is taken VERY seriously. And with the high cost of food, particularly in Paris, people may need a little help, non? There are people all around the world needing help affording food. The US issues food stamps to those who qualify, so it seems logical that it also happens here in France. There is a wee bit of difference though with le cheque dejeuner. You don't have to be low-income to get le cheque here- all you have to be is gainfully employed. Yes, that's right. If you earn a living, it seems your employer must offer you the right to buy a month's worth of subsidized lunch checks worth 7 euros each. And how much might you have to pay per check you ask???? Two, 2, deux euros! Well at least at SJ's company the employees get to buy les cheques at 2 euros a piece for a 7 euro valued check. They can then take this 7 euro check (that they have ONLY PAID 2 EUROS FOR) to a restaurant like this and get themselves some lunch. So if you do this math you can buy 210 euros worth of food for 60 euros each month. Pas mal, n'est pas?

I may have overstated the eligibility a bit, you not only have to be employed to get these cheques from your employer but you also have to be, well, French.

SJ does not get them. Tant Pis.

3 comments:

Tickled Pink Talk said...

tant pis indeed!! What a program. Miss you guys!

Anonymous said...

I seriously doubt these are for French people only. Certain employees qualify and others don't due to their contract type, but nationality has nothing to do with it. That would be racist.

Olivier

Shannon said...

Olivier,

It is not racist. Nationality has nothing to do with race. Yes, it is based on your work contract but you must essentially be a French national, paying into the French tax system, and so in my post I generalized the offer to "the French". No, if you are Italian but permanently living and working in France I am sure you would not be denied this benefit.

I think you missed the point of the post. This is a blog for a primarily American audience. The people of France take mealtime much more seriously than Americans and in terms of financial assistance, Americans cannot fathom an essential "hand-out" to anyone other than the truly needy. The fact that France offers financial assistance for food to those who may or may not need the assistance is remarkable to an American. Why do you think so many people in the US eat from the dollar menu at McDonalds?

It sounds like you were offended. Perhaps you've read a little too much into my comment.