“The Start of Hunger”: a documentary at the heart of a solidarity grocery store

In France, the number of people who depend on food aid has tripled in ten years. To try to better understand food insecurity, director Ketty Rios Palma placed her camera in the heart of a small solidarity grocery store welcoming all those for whom eating has become a daily challenge. “The Beginning of Hunger”, a sensitive and poignant film, imbued with kindness and mutual aid, can be discovered in “Infrarouge” Wednesday October 4 at 10:50 p.m. on France 2.

“The Beginning of Hunger”. © Ego Productions

Early in the morning, Chloé puts the latest products received on the shelves… Here, we are not in a traditional grocery store but in a solidarity grocery store. The young woman, with her infectious energy, surrounded by her happy band of volunteers, goes out of her way to satisfy the grocery store’s 450 customers. Beyond the organization and coordination of solidarity commerce, Chloé knows the first names of each of her visitors, their situations, their tastes, their expectations, their needs, but also their fragilities. Behind each customer there is also a story… Because it is often an accident of life that pushed each person to walk through the door of the grocery store. Sudden agoraphobia for Sabrina, a caregiver who raises her two children alone; burnout and the covid crisis for Laurent, photographer; inflation for Lucie and Malik, a young unemployed couple… For everyone, filling the plate has become a daily challenge. Depending on each person’s situation and their daily life, a social worker makes a prescription of three, six or twelve months… “The majority of customers who come to the grocery store have a daily surplus of less than five euros per day to feed a family”, explains Chloe. Little by little, hunger came to shake up their daily lives and, in a vicious cycle, led to withdrawal and a loss of confidence. “ At the grocery store, we pass each other without looking down, we say hello, we check in, testifies Kitty Rios Palma, the director of the documentary. I find in this place a rare and precious humanity. Customers feel recognized, considered, a little relieved of the shame linked to the overwhelming need for food. »

Here, indeed, Sabrina does not feel judged or denigrated, as when she harvested the fruits and vegetables at the end of the markets. No more “food insecurity” for Laurent, who wondered every day what he was going to eat the next day. Here, you buy shampoo for 90 cents, cereals for 65 cents, a whole chicken for less than two euros… At each collection, it’s a surprise for Chloé. And if supply has become a weekly challenge, she always welcomes large arrivals which will delight her customers. But the young woman warns that the grocery store cannot only operate with unsold items from supermarkets. “ It’s not because we are in precariousness that we should only have access to random products. », Explains the one who proudly brought local products into the network. Because if eating is essential, eating well remains no less essential. Through her workshops, Chloé then tries to restore the taste for cooking, the pleasure of eating well, which, according to her, also contributes to the well-being of her customers.

Without commentary, the documentary interferes in the daily life of Chloé and her clients to offer small, poignant and sensitive scenes of life. “ With a camera that films smoothly, The Start of Hunger prohibits any miserabilism and values ​​humanity and mutual aid, without ever denying the violence of hunger”concludes the director of this raw and tender documentary, imbued with solidarity and kindness.

The beginning of hunger

“The Beginning of Hunger”.

© Ego Productions

Infrared: The Beginning of Hunger

A place: the Cap Sud social and solidarity grocery store in Poitiers. This grocery store is the anchor point of the film and the meeting point for all those who come there to look for food. Among them, Sabrina, Laurent, Lucie and Malik, Laëtitia, Denis, Jatmir, Anita… All have been customers of the grocery store for more or less long time and have a daily remaining living of less than €7. But everyone also has the irrepressible desire to get by, to see their children grow up in good conditions and a sense of sharing. Chloé understands all of this, which is why she does everything she can to ensure that each customer enters the grocery store without looking down and that everyone finds enough to eat with dignity…

Magazine Presentation Marie Drucker — Editor-in-chief Anne Hirsch
Documentary (55 min – 2023) – A film of Kitty Rios Palma – Production Ego Productions (Médiawan Group)

Broadcast Wednesday October 4 at 10:50 p.m. on France 2
To see and rewatch on


Published by Céline Boidin-Lounis on October 1, 2023


I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

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