Charity Lunch Box Gift
LONDON – Gusto Italia UK meets Memuna Janneh, founder and trustee of the charity Lunch Box Gift. She is one of the protagonists of our event “Gusto Italia UK”, on Monday 16th and Tue 17th at Le Méridien Piccadilly
Sierra Leone is Ebola Free: what do you do in Sierra Leone and what impact this great news will have on your activity?
“We served tens of thousands of freshly cooked meals to patients and healthcare workers in 3 Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone at the height of the crisis. Quarantines prevented their families from getting food to them and Lunch Box Gift stepped in to help. We are absolutely delighted that the country has been officially declared Ebola-free by the WHO! However, our work continues unabated as we try to get food to the children orphaned by this dreadful disease. There are over 12,000 Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone alone. Often marginalised and rejected by their communities out of fear, these children are extremely vulnerable and are perhaps the worst affected group. With continuing support from the general public, we are able to provide them with much needed nutrition and sustenance”.
What kind of connection do you have with Italians? What is the contribution of Italians in London to this good cause?
“Our first direct involvement with Italians in the UK was some years ago in London. We took our sustainability message to the Italian food industry, encouraging them to cut down on production waste by donating shelf-stable food surpluses to Lunch Box Gift. The response was incredible! We have benefited from a lot of donations and support from very influential people since then – most notably Chef Carmelo Carnevale, President of the Italian Food Federation! He has been truly amazing and we are extremely grateful for his commitment”.
How can you help?
“Lunch Box Gift is interested in ambient, shelf-stable cooking ingredients like rice, pasta, oil, tomato puree and beans, that are good to enough eat but may be at risk of going to waste. Very often this is due to damaged packaging, over-production, labelling errors, short dating etc. By making good use of these surpluses, we help businesses reduce waste related costs and improve their green credentials. Donated products get shipped to Sierra Leone and transformed into delicious meals for underprivileged children. We look forward to making more friends at Gusto Italia UK!”.
What is your goal for Christmas 2015 and for the 2016?
“For Christmas we want to provide Ebola orphans with a fantastic feast and lots of fun gifts. For many, this will be their first Christmas without their parents so we really want to reach out to them. 2016 will see the launch of our agriculture programme in partnership with Slow Food (Terra Madre) and EatAgro. Among other things, we are going to encourage the communities we work with to get into sustainable small-holder farming. They will be allocated plots of land, tools, seeds and in-depth training and support to help them towards self sufficiency and food security. Please visit us at www.lunchboxgift.com or email us at email@example.com“.
Francesca Marchese Journalist for “Gusto Italia UK”
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