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09/12/2022 News

Solidarity with the Béarn and Soule Food Bank

  • Across France, the festive season marks a collection period for food banks, as they fight against food waste and scarcity.
  • As volunteers, our employees are proactively involved in collecting donations as part of the worldwide Action! volunteer program.
  • Another innovative partnership possibility was introduced during a teambuilding initiative at TotalEnergies in Pau.

The Bearn and Soule food bank (BABS) and TotalEnergies go back a long way, yet their partnership is full of new initiatives. Every year, nationwide, from Saint Malo to Pau, via Metz (City names to be looked at on the pf) hundreds of employees from our multi-energy Company take part in the national collection drive led by the association, whose ambition is to “help people nourish themselves, both biologically and psychologically.” Locally, from November 25-27, 50 women and men gave their time to appeal to customers in supermarkets for donations for those in need.

“Their support really counts, because we are all aware of the growing difficulties and needs in society” explains Jean-Bernard Casenave, President of the association. 126 tons of donations were collected, which means 250 000 meals for the needy, a decrease of about 9% compared to 2019. “TotalEnergies’ employees have shown unwavering support over the last few years, in addition to the annual donation made to the French Corporate Action for food solidarity (MESA). The Pau site donates fuel vouchers that contribute to financing the rounds made by the MESA to collect foodstuffs and products from supermarkets all year round. This nationwide operation is something that people remember, but the BABS is active all year round - collecting, sorting, storing and distributing foodstuffs to its 39 partner associations and CCAS.” Jean-Bernard Casenave reminds us.


Innovating to act together for solidarity

TotalEnergies employees can donate three working days per year, to act for  the territory through a volunteer mission. Through the Action! program, and the missions proposed by the associations, individual employees meet specific, tangible needs. Sometimes a whole team wants to include a solidarity action as part of a teambuilding exercise, and that’s where the BABS stepped in, upstream of the collection drive, with an innovative operation. As part of what we call a “Solidarity Teambuilding exercise (TBS)” at TotalEnergies, the program involved folding the collection bags for donations and the readily identifiable orange safety vests worn by the volunteers,  as well as a challenge to create an advertising campaign based on two topics: the collection of foodstuffs and recruiting volunteers.

Following a presentation of how the association is run, its key figures, its challenges and a question-answer session, the participants were divided into groups to tackle the challenge, fired up by their desire to be useful.

“It was a really innovative operation, as there was a very “hands on” side to it in the bag-folding task, and a much more conceptual side with the search for original proposals to help the BABS in its daily activities. The idea of a challenge motivated the teams but, in the end, everyone helped everyone else and we shared a wonderful moment of mutual support for a solidarity cause. Some of the participants signed up immediately afterwards for an individual Action! mission  to help with the collection. ” revealed Marie Harquet, who organized the TBS for her department.