More than 1000 Lebanese and Syrian families reached through our rural community kitchens

LEB 15_Community Kitchen_ Minyara_Tel Abbas Camp (8)


The Food Heritage Foundation (FHF) in collaboration with the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) and the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), has been supporting community kitchens in Minyara, Akkar and El Khiara, West Bekaa since 2013 and 2014 respectively, with the ultimate goal to develop these hosting areas and feed vulnerable families. The idea of bringing women from the host and refugee communities together to produce healthy meals traditional to both cultures and distribute them to vulnerable families, came about in the early stages of the Syrian crisis, when Lebanon started observing large influx of refugees.

Bread distribution in Khiara, West Bekaa ©Tiziana Cauli IOCC
Bread distribution in Khiara, West Bekaa ©Tiziana Cauli IOCC

Currently, groups of Lebanese and Syrian ladies are leading the kitchens in Minyara and El Khiara and feeding up to 120 families a day. Besides the food assistance provided, the women are trained and encouraged to develop lines of products for sales such as jams, pickles, tomato paste, chocolates etc. This further empowers the ladies and increases their source of income.

Tal Abbas settlement
Dominique Anid, FHF Health and Nutrition Specialist, with children of Tal Abbas camp in Akkar ©Tiziana Cauli IOCC

In 2014, around 3,500 individuals benefited from the distribution of hot meals and bread parcels prepared by the community kitchens. Since January 2015, 2,000 individuals are receiving food in Akkar and West Bekaa. These distributions have been supported by the German organization “Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH)”. All the recipes were chosen by the ladies themselves to insure cultural acceptability among beneficiary families and were supervised by FHF dietitians to increase their nutritional benefits.

Khiara Community Kitchen
Khiara Community Kitchen ©Tiziana Cauli IOCC

Testimonies from the ladies leading the community kitchens and the beneficiary families clearly show the benefits of such initiatives:

“Establishing this kitchen was brilliant, it supports and empowers the women working in it and it also supports the small shops and farmers in the area who are providing the vegetables, grains, meat…” (Najla, Kitchen Coordinator, El Khiara Community Kitchen)

Pots distribution in Akkar
Pots distribution  ©Tiziana Cauli IOCC

The bread you’re distributing is of very good quality, the food reaching us is very reliable, and what is nice about it is that it is not too salty, those who want to add salt can do so; the quality of food is obviously controlled. Honestly, your project is helping families save a lot; most families were deprived from a hot meal or a bundle of bread at home.” (Ibrahim, Syrian, father of 5 children, Halba, Akkar)

Miniara community kitchen team ©Tiziana Cauli IOCC

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