A self-funded and volunteer-driven organization that has been working since 2012 to provide meals to people in need has been managing to give out 200 boxes of food every week since October 2019.
FoodBlessed, an NGO that has been tackling the twin problems of food insecurity and food waste in Lebanon, provides food relief in the form of freshly cooked or rescued meals at their soup kitchens. It also packs and distributes food assistance packages of basic food commodities to those in need.
The NGO rescues food from going to waste by offering a food rescue service that gives new life to surplus food from events and close-to-expiry and unsaleable products.
By doing so, FoodBlessed provides an effective and efficient solution to hunger while addressing the serious and growing problem of food waste in Lebanon. They have been providing food assistance for people in need across Lebanon, regardless of their nationality, area of residence, race, age, and gender.
Co-founder of FoodBlessed Maya Terro explained that thanks to their partners and volunteers since 2012, they “have been able to provide more than half a million meals to people in need, all across Lebanon while rescuing over 500 000 tons of food from going to waste.”
Due to the uprising events of the Lebanese revolution in October of 2019 and the deteriorating economic situation that has followed, FoodBlessed launched #BeatHungerLB campaign that specifically targets Lebanese families across Lebanon.
FoodBlessed volunteers, or Hunger Heroes as they call themselves, have been collecting the necessary information for Lebanese families suffering from financial deterioration.
The hunger-relief NGO has created a database of the names of families that it will be helping out continuously. The plan is to help on a monthly basis if enough funds were provided.
“We are packing and distributing 100-200 boxes on a weekly basis across Lebanon,” Terro added; “so far, we’ve successfully distributed over 2000 boxes thanks to individual donors and many Hunger Heroes, but we are far from our target.”
Since it started, FoodBlessed has solely relied on small or individual donors, which is not as sustainable as monthly grants-in-aid or funds. Volunteers are hoping to pack and distribute more than 200 boxes weekly if enough funds were sustained.
The numbers of people who are food insecure have skyrocketed given the most recent COVID-19 pandemic that has hit the country. There are countless families in Lebanon that rely on weekly wages to provide food for their children.
“The majority of Lebanese are now unable to work, get paid, and hence feed their families, which creates more demand on us to provide more boxes,” Terro explained.
“Each food assistance package or food parcel costs us $18 or 46,000 LBP and is able to sustain a family of 4 for a month, more or less,” the FoodBlessed co-founder confirmed.
Terro Explained that, with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the campaign phone number has been getting an average of 700 requests for food assistance per day.
The #BeatHungerLB number is managed by Diana Sweid who confirmed that, as of today, 6000 messages await her reply on WhatsApp. She has been trying to answer as many as possible but the messages are getting too overwhelming.
“As of today, we have 17000+ families across Lebanon on our waiting list.” Terro proceeded to say. “Every little goes a long way and, if everyone helped a little, together we’ll be able to help a lot!”
For any further enquires about donations, you can contact FoodBlessed over WhatsApp +96170159337.