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Switzerland: Caritas markets, growing turnover. “One million people at risk of poverty”

The turnover of the 21 Caritas markets in Switzerland selling food items and daily necessities at reduced prices grew by 3.6% (a total of CHF 13.1 million in 2018). This means “demand is rising sharply”. Caritas Switzerland announced the figures in a statement today, while also denouncing that “about one million people currently live in or are at risk of poverty” in the Swiss Confederation. The data, Caritas reported, may change in the near future since “the Cantons are trying to cut social aid and reduce funding for health insurance premiums”. Caritas markets seek to respond to the needs of the poor by offering low-cost products, thereby containing the cost of living. Sales of fruit and vegetables rose by 4.3%; eleven Caritas markets also sell fresh bread. Caritas markets are part of a bigger project. They are meant to be a place of meeting and socialisation, as well as a chance for long-term unemployed people to find a part-time job and be reintegrated into the labour market. The supply of goods on sale is guaranteed by partnerships with more than 400 suppliers, including Denner, Migros, Spar, Aldi, Manor, Nestlé and Sprüngli.

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