Launching the “Manouche Box”

All the resources you need to make the best manouche!

Despite the chaotic situation in the country and the negative vibes that are prevailing, new socially responsible collaborations are still seeing the light, hence proving the hope of the young Lebanese in a Lebanon they dream about.

The Food Heritage Foundation is very pleased to announce its recent collaboration with Key Sixteen, a travel agency based in Antwerp, Belgium, through the socially engaged mouneh products initiative “Food and Roots“, to launch the “Manouche box”. During the event that was held on 12 October, 2021 in Beit el Deir in Deir el Qamar, the partners introduced the guests to the Manouche Box collaboration and its social impact. A live cooking session with Barbara Massaad was also organized during the event.

The Manouche Box contains authentic “Food and Roots” preserve products which are traditionally made from locally grown products by carefully chosen small Lebanese producers and farmers from across Lebanon’s rural areas. The box includes a range of 7 products: thyme, thyme with nuts, tapenade (olive paste), tomato paste, carob molasses, mulberry jam and chili paste. Each product in the box holds an authentic taste of Lebanon and a refined look that fits modern standards and taste. The Manouche box will be sold mainly in Europe through the Seven Shelves E-commerce website

Following  the event, 400 Manoushe were baked and distributed by Association Bassma to families in need in the Chouf region.

A cooking session was organized for the volunteers in FHF’s Akletna community kitchen in Beirut

Furthermore, volunteers from Key Sixteen and Seven Shelves were hosted by the Food Heritage Foundation for a week as part of their social impact mission in Lebanon. The volunteers prepared Lebanese mezza dishes in FHF’s Akletna community Kitchen, and helped a local cooperative in preparing seasonal mouneh products; they also participated with the farmers in olive picking on “Darb el Karam” food tourism program, and played board games with the kids in a local school as part of their social activities. Finally, the volunteers toured the Eco Khalleh educational center farm in Baaqlin where they attended training sessions on mouneh preparations and food preservation.


FHF wins the ARRELL Global Food Innovation Award 2021

We are proud to announce that The University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute (AFI) award program has selected Food Heritage Foundation as the receiver of the Community Engagement Innovation Award for 2021.

The University of Guelph’s Arrell Food Institute (AFI) award program, which started in 2018 and is judged by an international committee, recognizes those who make exceptional efforts to create more equitable, suitable, efficient and nutritious food systems.

Two prizes of $100,000 are awarded annually in two categories: research innovation and community engagement innovation. Nominees are from around the world.

Food Heritage Foundation was recognized for this award for its uses of indigenous culinary knowledge as a tool for improving the food system and building healthy communities. FHF model is both a driver of economic development and an example of sustainable food solutions.

We thank Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph for their trust and for their recognition of our efforts.

Press Release


FHF Featured in UNWTO’s Regional Report on Women in Tourism in the Middle East

Established by ESDU, The Food Heritage Foundation and its food tourism network (Darb el-Karam), have been featured in the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) “Regional Report on Women in Tourism in the Middle East.”

Published in 2020, The report maps and examines the participation of women in the tourism sector throughout the region prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The five main areas of focus are: employment, entrepreneurship, education and training, leadership and community.

FHF and Darb el-Karam have been highlighted among several community and society-driven initiatives for empowering women and rural communities and supporting rural livelihoods by promoting tourism and food heritage.

Read the full report here (FHF is mentioned on page 72, ESDU & FHF Rural Tourism Coordinator Petra Chedid is mentioned in Annex 3):


Learning gardens: providing education and healthy food!

During spring 2020, the first edition of the “Agrobiodiversity, School Gardens and Healthy Diets: Promoting Biodiversity, Food and Sustainable Nutrition” book was published online.  

The book which gathers contributions from around the world (Lebanon, Australia, Vietnam, Hawaii, Philippines, India, Nepal, Morocco, etc.) will be available for free download and dissemination in December 2020.

The book assesses the role of biodiversity in promoting and enhancing diversified and healthy diets among schools children; it also identifies the encountered challenges and the key criteria for success. The seventh case-study more particularly, highlights the role of learning gardens in enhancing the diet of Syrian children and youth in Lebanon. Author Nina Lauridsen, talks about the importance of learning gardens established in Lebanon by Danish NGO Zaher-Grow to learn in partnership with local NGOs like the Food Heritage Foundation, Juzurna Buzurna and SOILS Permaculture Lebanon. Through these gardens, stigmatized children and youth not only have their capacity built on sustainable gardening (including organic agriculture and permaculture concepts), but also find a place to recreate and produce their own food. On another hand, this kind of project ensures the transmittance of knowledge and farming to young generations and prevents its loss.

Late 2019, FHF together with its partners, and with support from CISU – Civil Society in Development, designed and implemented new learning gardens in Akkar and Bekaa. Although the October revolution followed by the Covid-19 pandemic have impaired the activities under the project “Learning Gardens as a Tool for Development in Lebanon”, the gardens are still being maintained by the partners hoping that the gardens will receive the children soon again.  


Making a Difference During the Holidays

Preparing Bûche de Noël cakes for distribution to the victims of the Beirut Blast

Due to the many socio-economic challenges that Lebanon is facing, the holidays are still a difficult time for many vulnerable and less fortunate families who are struggling to put food on the table and make ends meet.

To make a difference this holiday season, FHF’s Akleh Community Kitchen decided to collaborate with a number of NGO’s as part of the “Akleh Christmas Initiative” under the Ardi Ardak National Food Security Initiative to spread the joy of Christmas by distributing hot meals to families across Lebanon. To support small-scale farmers, all the ingredients were sourced from rural areas.

Hearty and delicious chicken and rice dishes

On the 23rd and 24th of December the Akleh Community Kitchen prepared and distributed 3,325 hot meals to families in need. Additionally, 860 meals and 100 Bûche de Noël cakes were delivered to the victims of the Beirut Blast. The distribution was done in collaboration with the Mar Yaacoub church, father Pere Majdi from the “Bonheur du Ciel” association, Father Jean-Marie Chami, Berrad El Hay and Basecamp Beirut.

Preparing Bûche de Noël cakes for the victims of the Beirut Blast
Hot meals packed and ready to be delivered to families in need

In an effort to provide nutritious food for families in need during the holidays, FHF in collaboration with ESDU under the Ardi Ardak National Food Security Initiative prepared and delivered a total of 110 mouneh boxes to different neighborhoods across Beirut including Naba’a and in Tripoli and Aramoun.

Mouneh box ingredients sourced from local small-scale producers
Mouneh boxes filled with ingredients sourced from local small-scale producers

The distribution was done with the help of the Rashet Kheir and Ruwwad Al Tanmeya NGOs and “Soeurs de la Charité de Sainte Jeanne Antide.” All the mouneh boxes were filled with fresh and healthy ingredients sourced directly from local small-scale producers.

We’d like to express our gratitude to “Search for Common Ground” (SFCG) and all the wonderful donors and volunteers who helped us make this holiday season special.

Despite these challenging times, FHF remains hopeful that better days are just over the horizon and wishes all of you a joyous holiday season filled with love and good food.


Learning Garden Students Blossom into Organic Agriculture Heroes

Learning Garden graduates posing with their new certificates

Today, we witnessed our students who were participating in “Learning Gardens as a Tool for Development in Lebanon” blossom into young organic agriculture heroes! Fifteen kids who had previously participated in the series of workshops on organic agriculture in the Malaak NGO received their certificates.

Launched in June 2019, the project aims to strengthen the education and involvement of children and youth by developing their knowledge on nature and plants and building their capacities to increase their livelihood resilience through learning garden activities.

Gardening activities at the Malaak center in Halba

Over the course of the project, educational activities included workshops on inexpensive organic horticulture methods, local gardening practices, planting seasonal crops, designing gardens, establishing composting units as well as lessons on healthy nutrition, making mouneh, food preservation and environmental awareness.

Gardening activities at the Malaak center in Halba

The project “Learning Gardens as a Tool for Development in Lebanon” is implemented in partnership with the Danish NGO Zaher-Grow to Learn, Bouzourna Jouzourna (BZJ), SOILS Permaculture Association Lebanon, Jibal and is supported by CISU – Civil Society Fund in Denmark. The workshops were conducted across various locations including the BZJ farm in Saadnayel, ActionAid Arab Region (AAAR) centers in Joub Jannine and Baalbeck and the Malaak center in Halba.

Gardening activities at the Malaak center in Halba

We’re proud of all of the students that have completed the program. As successful graduates they will be able to bring their new knowledge and skills back to their families and communities and hopefully will be equipped with the know-how to create agricultural spaces that improve their food security by increasing food availability all year round.


COVID-19 Protective Measures: Agricultural & Agro-Food Sectors

Field worker following proper COVID-19 measures

 The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on the global food system, disrupting food supply chains, agricultural production, food processing and threatening food security. 

Read more:



Rural Tourism Day

Providing opportunities for rich experiences and the preservation of cultural heritage, rural tourism is a pillar of economic growth outside of big cities. Countless rural communities around the world look to tourism as a lifeline and leading provider of employment opportunities.

This year’s edition of World Tourism Day is celebrated under the theme of “Tourism and Rural Development.” Although the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have made this year exceptionally challenging  for the tourism sector, we remain optimistic that the golden days of rural tourism are still over the horizon.

Connecting nine villages in higher Chouf and West Bekaa, Darb El Karam is a food tourism network that offers thematic packages according to harvest seasons. Visitors can delight in Lebanon’s unique food culture through activities like picking and preservation, tours across the country to discover traditional food processing methods and unique culinary experiences at the houses of food producers.

Looking forward beyond lockdown, we’ve planned some exciting culinary adventures. Situated in the charming West Bekaa Valley, our upcoming goat trail on Saturday, October 3rd will introduce visitors to local goat shepherds, offer a variety of authentic dairy delicacy and wine tastings, a hike with breathtaking views between Ain Zebde and Saghbine and much more.

Stay tuned for our future rural adventures for 2020 which will be announced soon!

Relief Work

Letter of Gratitude

Ever since the catastrophic explosion transformed Beirut forever and sent shock waves around the world on August 4th, FHF and ESDU have been hard at work in the Akleh community kitchen in Beirut and the kitchen of Khayrat Bekaana Coop in El Khiara – West Bekaa to provide hot meals to the victims of the blast through our “Cooking For Beirut” emergency relief effort under the Ardi Ardak initiative.

Our work would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of our partners, donors, chefs and dedicated volunteers who have supported and sustained our efforts during these tiring times. Over the last three weeks with the help of 39 volunteers and 26 ESDU and FHF team member volunteers, we cooked and delivered 3,002 hot meals, and received 17,819,420 LBP along with numerous in-kind donations which included vegetables and other cooking ingredients from The Green Van, Mada Association and many other generous individuals.

While our team was handling cooking and packaging in the kitchens, distribution was done in collaboration with different partners including the Lebanese Food Bank and the Center for Civic Engagement in AUB.

Due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown and to ensure the safety of our team and volunteers, we will be transitioning into a new phase of our relief work. After discussions with the partners who are working on the ground directly with the affected families, we have decided to put the production of hot meals on hold and provide mouneh parcels instead to displaced citizens who are able to cook in their kitchens or in temporary shelters.

Committed to contributing to the revival of the local economy and maintaining food security, we will ensure the donations we receive are used to procure the content of the mouneh parcels from small local farmers and producers, local SMEs and coops in rural areas.

Although “thank you” doesn’t encapsulate the extent of our gratitude, we would like to acknowledge and express our appreciation to the following beautiful souls that have helped us stay cooking and aid those in need during this crisis:

Food Heritatge Foundation, Environment and Sustainable Development Unit in AUB, Lebanese League for Women in Business , Lebanese Food Bank, Khayrat Bekaana Coop, Zico House, Le Passport Culinaire, Akleh Community Kitchen

ESDU Volunteers
Afif Wehbe, Angy Keirouz, Camille Cesbron, Cynthia Kreidy, Danny Mansour, Gaelle Abboud, Ghida El Dirany, Haidar Sleiman, Hind Naim, Ingrid Abou Zeid, Juliette Amidi, Lamisse Khairallah, Lea Salameh, Mabelle Chedid, Marwa Soubra, Mohamed Dbeibo, Nadim Rawda, Nicolas Gholam, Patricia Kebbe, Petra Chedid, Rebecca Khoury, Sarah Karam, Yara Sleiman, Yasmina Olabi, Zuhair and Camilla Zeineddine

Community Volunteers
Chef Fares Naddaf, Chef Hassan Hamoud, Chef Jean Richa, Chef Joseph Khoury, Chef Khaled Succarieh, Chef Nawal Aoun, Chef Wael Harrouz

Afaf Rachkidi, Ahmad Al Khalidi, Alexandra Mikhael, Arsha Mazloum, Christelle Mattar, Corinne Eid, Dima Ghaddar, Hussein Al Khalidi, Jessica Bou Tanious, Joey Ragheb, Joumana El Khechen, Karim El Husseini, Layal Sasso, Mariane Abu Jawde, Marie-Lynn Issa, Marielou Kreidy, Marwa El Kechen, Maurice Riachy, Maya Sabbah, Michelle Daou, Mira El Hassan, Mirna Hobeika, Mona Tarboush, Nadim Hamade, Najla Haidar, Nesmat Hammoud, Nour El Hassan, Reem Fawaz, Reine Habchy, Rihab Younis, Rima Kahwaji, Roy Lteif, Sandra Abboud Daher, Sawsan Kassem, Stephanie Gabriel, Yara Hamad, Yara Hammoud, Yasmine El Hajj, Youmna Iskandarani, Zahi Turk, Zeinab Abbas

With love and gratitude,
FHF and ESDU team

DONATE NOW! Together we can make a difference.


FHF Emergency Relief

The aftermath of the explosion that hit Beirut on August 4, 2020 has been devastating. More than 200 were killed, more than 6,000 were wounded and hundreds of thousands were rendered homeless[1].


Preparing hot meals for the victims of the Beirut Blast
from the Akleh kitchen in Zico House, Beirut

In response to this tragedy, the Food Heritage Foundation (FHF) in partnership with the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences at AUB, the Lebanese League for Women in Business (LLWB) and Zico House launched emergency relief activities targeting the communities which are suffering the most from the tragedy by offering them daily hot meals under the framework of the Ardi Ardak Initiative. Le Passport Culinaire later joined the coalition by providing volunteer chefs and supporting our work through fundraising campaigns in Europe.

During this crisis, FHF is operating through its central kitchen – Akleh in Zico House, Beirut and the Khayrat Bekaana community kitchen in West Bekaa to respond to this emergency. Since Thursday August 6, 2020, FHF – with the support of its partners and its active network of volunteers – has been preparing an average of 270 hot meals per day and distributing them to affected individuals and families. Food preparation effort will increase to reach an average of 600 meals per day in the upcoming few days. With the generous cash donations, raw material is being purchased from FHF’s network of small-scale farmers and cooperatives who have been engaged in FHF and ESDU’s previous and ongoing capacity building projects hence benefiting both affected urban populations and the vulnerable rural communities.

Preparing hot meals for the victims of the Beirut Blast
with the Khayrat Bekaena COOP  in the El Khiara village, West Bekaa

By engaging its network of community kitchens, FHF can reach more than 1,000 meals per day, and can also involve more community kitchens from its network. In addition to the distribution of hot meals, which is considered a short-term response, FHF will soon start distributing mouneh boxes ensuring families’ access to food in the long run and further promoting livelihoods of producers and cooperatives who are providing these products.

Distribution is being conducted either one-on-one, reaching out directly to affected individuals with the support of the volunteers or by collaborating with other organizations including the Center of Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS) at AUB and the Lebanese Food Bank (LFB).

Volunteers and ESDU team member volunteers cooking together
for the victims of the Beirut Blast in Zico House, Beirut

FHF’s efforts have been sustained through the kindness and generosity of concerned citizens and professionals who have volunteered their time to feed the most vulnerable victims of the Beirut blast. Until now, we have had 40 volunteers, among them chefs, assistant chefs and kitchen support and delivery volunteers. We have also had 28 ESDU and FHF team member volunteers help with organization, kitchen support and delivery.

Given the rapid deteriorating conditions in Lebanon and the long-term  traumatizing affects the explosion will have on the Lebanese population, this initiative will be integral for providing hunger relief to vulnerable communities that are suffering during these dire times and supporting rural and small-scale producers. Our hope is that FHF’s work contributes to the larger collaborative challenge to once again raise Beirut from the ashes of destruction.

DONATE NOW! Together we can make a difference.