The main model of food solidarity continues to revolve around food aid: charity canteens and using unsold products to reduce waste statistics. Over the last 20 years, the concept of poverty management has evolved, but there have been no equivalent developments in the field of food solidarity. This is one of the conclusions drawn from the analysis conducted by the UNESCO Chair on World Food Systems: “For a reform of our food solidarities.” The publication is part of a series entitled So What? in which various issues related to food systems are addressed.
These publications are available in English and French, and they have recently begun to be published in Spanish. The titles available in the three languages are:
- Rethinking our food solidarity commitments
- Is it relevant to talk about “alternative” agrifood networks?
- Sensory pleasure and mindfulness, allies of a healthier diet
The UNESCO Chair on World Food Systems, located at the International Center for Higher Education in Agricultural Sciences in Montpellier, aims to increase and disseminate academic and empirical knowledge about food systems. You can find more information about the Chair here.
One of the latest works is related to the consequences that the Covid-19 crisis has had on food solidarity with populations at risk. In this regard, Damien Conaré, Secretary General of the UNESCO Chair, said that during the pandemic, the importance of linking the vulnerable population and local producers with initiatives such as the distribution of food solidarity boxes has been highlighted: “all these initiatives, made possible by long-term relationships between cities and agricultural professionals, particularly in the context of local urban food strategies, will be invaluable in addressing the economic crisis that is approaching.” In the recent report carried out by France Urbaine and Terres en Villes, “Managing food supplies during the pandemic – Initiatives in French cities“, a series of initiatives taken by the major French cities in favour of vulnerable, isolated and low-income populations are identified.