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.
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.
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)
“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)