American Univesity of Beirut

 Emergency Relief | Beirut Explosion

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Letter of Gratitude

Ever since the catastrophic explosion transformed Beirut forever and sent shock waves around the world on August 4th, ESDU and FHF have been hard at work in the Akleh community kitchen in Beirut and the kitchen of Khayrat Bekaana Coop in El Khiara – West Bekaa to provide hot meals to the victims of the blast through our “Cooking For Beirut" emergency relief effort under the Ardi Ardak initiative.

Our work would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of our partners, donors, chefs and dedicated volunteers who have supported and sustained our efforts during these tiring times. Over the last three weeks with the help of 39 volunteers and 26 ESDU and FHF team member volunteers, we cooked and delivered 3,002 hot meals, and received 17,819,420 LBP along with numerous in-kind donations which included vegetables and other cooking ingredients from The Green Van, Mada Association and many other generous individuals.

While our team was handling cooking and packaging in the kitchens, distribution was done in collaboration with different partners including the Lebanese Food Bank and the Center for Civic Engagement in AUB.

Due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown and to ensure the safety of our team and volunteers, we will be transitioning into a new phase of our relief work. After discussions with the partners who are working on the ground directly with the affected families, we have decided to put the production of hot meals on hold and provide mouneh boxes instead to displaced citizens who are able to cook in their kitchens or in temporary shelters.

Committed to contributing to the revival of the local economy and maintaining food security, we will ensure the donations we receive are used to procure the content of the mouneh boxes from small local farmers and producers, local SMEs and coops in rural areas.

Although “thank you" doesn't encapsulate the extent of our gratitude, we would like to acknowledge and express our appreciation to the following beautiful souls that have helped us stay cooking and aid those in need during this crisis:

Partners: Environment and Sustainable Development Unit in AUB, Food Heritage Foundation, Lebanese League for Women in Business , Lebanese Food Bank, Khayrat Bekaana Coop, Zico House, Le Passport Culinaire, Akleh Community Kitchen​

ESDU Volunteers: Afif Wehbe, Angy Keirouz, Camille Cesbron, Cynthia Kreidy, Danny Mansour, Gaelle Abboud, Ghida El Dirany, Haidar Sleiman, Hind Naim, Ingrid Abou Zeid, Juliette Amidi, Lamisse Khairallah, Lea Salameh, Mabelle Chedid, Marwa Soubra, Mohamed Dbeibo, Nadim Rawda, Nicolas Gholam, Patricia Kebbe, Petra Chedid, Rebecca Khoury, Sarah Karam, Yara Sleiman, Yasmina Olabi, Zuhair and Camilla Zeineddine

Community Volunteers: Chef Fares Naddaf, Chef Hassan Hamoud, Chef Jean Richa, Chef Joseph Khoury, Chef Khaled Succarieh, Chef Nawal Aoun, Chef Wael Harrouz

Afaf Rachkidi, Ahmad Al Khalidi, Alexandra Mikhael, Arsha Mazloum, Christelle Mattar, Corinne Eid, Dima Ghaddar, Hussein Al Khalidi, Jessica Bou Tanious, Joey Ragheb, Joumana El Khechen, Karim El Husseini, Layal Sasso, Mariane Abu Jawde, Marie-Lynn Issa, Marielou Kreidy, Marwa El Kechen, Maurice Riachy, Maya Sabbah, Michelle Daou, Mira El Hassan, Mirna Hobeika, Mona Tarboush, Nadim Hamade, Najla Haidar, Nesmat Hammoud, Nour El Hassan, Reem Fawaz, Reine Habchy, Rihab Younis, Rima Kahwaji, Roy Lteif, Sandra Abboud Daher, Sawsan Kassem, Stephanie Gabriel, Yara Hamad, Yara Hammoud, Yasmine El Hajj, Youmna Iskandarani, Zahi Turk, Zeinab Abbas

With love and gratitude,                    

The ESDU and FHF team​

​Cooking for Beirut | August 2020


In response to the catastrophic explosion on August 4, 2020 which decimated Beirut and shook the world, ESDU and  Food Heritage Foundation team has set up Cooking for Beirut, an emergency relief effort in the framework of Ardi Ardak initiative to feed the city's most vulnerable victims of the tragedy.

The team is cooking and distributing meals on a daily basis from our community kitchens Akleh in Zico House and from the kitchen of Khayrat Bekaena Coop in Khiara village in West Bekaa. For the last weeks, we have been delivering up to 300 meals on a daily basis to families in need and we expect to grow our output.

To sustain our work, we rely on the help of our community. We have been receiving overwhelming support from volunteers and chefs. If you would like to volunteer your time, you can contribute with cash and in kind donations – offering your time to help us cook, package and distribute food.

To volunteer please contact: +961 70 156 866

Donations Hotline: +961 3 234 008

 Bank Transfer Details

Name of Bank: Byblos Bank

​Account Name: Food Heritage Foundation

Local Transfers in LBP: IBAN LB36 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7001

Local Transfers in USD: IBAN LB36 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7003

International Transfers in USD: IBAN LB68 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7007

International Transfers in EUR: IBAN LB41 0039 0000 0003 3532 2531 7008

Swift Code: BYBALBBX​​



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