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Opening of the 20th Resto du Coeur in Mariembourg

July 2023

The Belgian Resto du Coeur federation is set to open a new Resto du Coeur in Mariembourg to cope with the many request for help. So there will be 20 Resto du Coeur helping people in need in Belgium henceforth.

Very few associations offer complete meals at low cost to people in precarious situations in the Couvin region. To fill this gap and meet the high demand, the non-profit association Solidarités Plurielles de l'Entre-Sambre et Meuse ASBL launched the Assiette du Cœur in Mariembourg last November. Today, we welcome this restaurant to the Resto du Coeur family.

A Resto du Coeur open to people in need 

The Resto du Coeur in Mariembourg welcomes people in need (Philippeville, Mettet, Cerfontaine, Florennes, Viroinval, Walcourt, Doische, and Couvin) regardless of their philosophical, religious or cultural background.

Already fully booked, the Resto serves hot meals two days a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The dining room can accommodate around twenty diners per service. The meal includes a starter, main course and dessert. Takeaway meals can also be booked, and account for 30 % of all requests.

Discussions with the beneficiaries of the Resto have revealed that access to healthy food at an affordable price is becoming increasingly difficult. For the majority of beneficiaries, eating one hot meal a day is no longer an option. This is why, at the Resto du Coeur in Mariembourg, the cost of a meal varies according to the beneficiary's income, but does not exceed €4 for a complete, healthy and balanced meal.

The Resto du Coeur in Mariembourg is a meeting place where beneficiaries can engage in table talk during meals. In addition, a Solidarités Plurielles social worker is on hand at each service to answer questions, carry out certain administrative procedures and find social support solutions through the various services offered by the non-profit association, including a social grocery shop, a debt mediation service, a laundry and social housing. 

Together we are stronger! To combat isolation and social exclusion, offering beneficiaries social and participative support can enable them to forge new ties and help them regain their independence so that they can become emancipated. 

“Coluchette” in the kitchen

What sets this restaurant apart from others is certainly the presence of the on-site manager, Isabelle Leloup, in the kitchen. She dons her apron at each service to prepare the meals for the beneficiaries with a tour de force.

Isabelle Leloup is drawing on 30 years of experience as a freelance chef in two restaurants and is putting her passion and talent to work for the most underprivileged. A fan of short distribution channels and seasonal produce, she has no hesitation in mixing the most surprising flavours and textures to delight the eyes and taste buds of the beneficiaries. They've already come up with a nice nickname for her: “Coluchette”.