By Daniele Custódio
I'm Daniele Custódio, a member of the Instituto Kairós team for Frente Alimenta in São Paulo Brazil. My wish for the future is that everyone will have a healthy diet, that we can assure food security as Human Right. To be regenerative, this future needs farmers living dignified lives planting in an ecological and safe way, respecting nature.
Frente Alimenta is a social action that addresses the harms of mass hunger by connecting rural/urban regenerative agriculture and people who need healthy meals by sourcing community kitchens with clean agroecological produce. Be The Earth's financial support to Frente Alimenta is directly related to the amount of produce we purchase from rural and urban farmers and how we assist them: the logistics to community kitchens, and in the free distribution of nutritious meals throughout the city.
Looking closely at communities we work with, I’d like to introduce you to “Academia Carolinas” which is one of the six kitchens we support on the outskirts of São Paulo. Initiated in 2020, Academia Carolinas takes care of children from the age of 5 in a very poor community that is located in one of the poorest districts of São Paulo. Their reality includes precarious wood houses and no bridge to cross the river made into a sewage stream to go to school, and two fires that destroyed part of their houses last year. In this situation, children who get their main, or the only meal of the day even, from the community kitchen at Carolina’s.
This is how their environment looks like
Children having lunch at the community center.
On the other side of this chain of solidarity and nutritious food we have farmers, especially women farmers to whom we offer security to plant and sell and other investments to improve working conditions. Our relationship with them is such that they could ask for our help anytime. I remember when one of them told us some buyer gave up the order and all her production would go to trash. Frente Alimenta was then able to buy all this food, redirect to community kitchens that would feed those who can't afford it. People were nourished, we did not wast any food and the farmer did not bear the loss, as is so common in the food chain.
Backstage for the production of our institutional video, that tells the story of Frente Alimenta
Every time that I am ordering the organic vegetables, with the help from Be The Earth, I think that these children, young people and adults will have access to a really rich, nutritious and agroecological diet. I think about how it would be a lot harder without the crucial role of community kitchens.
Today I understand we are part of a network that is trying to bring dignity to those families. Especially to children at Academia Carolinas, by having access and the comfort of the meals served there, they can participate in other activities promoted by Academia Carolinas and are able to dream of a better future.
For us that are working and studying food security there is nothing better than seeing the table and pans full of healthy food and people not worrying about what should be the next meal. Doing it minimizes environmental damage, preserving soil, water and improving farmers income is priceless. For as little as we are as an initiative, there is nothing more worthy than the look of farmers delivering their production and people getting the meals.