In response to requests from alumni and friends following the August 4 explosion in Beirut, the American University of Beirut (AUB) established the AUBMC Disaster Response Fund to assist needy patients in paying for care at the medical center, for medical supplies, and for repairs at the medical center. In parallel, the engagement arm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences (FAFS), the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU), is working diligently in support of vulnerable quarantined consumers and small-scale producers who are interested in starting home-gardening and urban agriculture practices
Ardi Ardak and the Mouneh Initiatives: ESDU is working diligently to support small-scale producers interested in starting home-gardening and urban agriculture practices, and to assist vulnerable quarantined consumers. The Ardi Ardak initiative, implemented throughout Lebanon, enables ESDU to distribute food parcels to 750 households, and seeds/seedlings to 970 households.
Further, ESDU supports the Lebanon Food Security and Agriculture Sector, led by FAO and WFP, through monthly reporting on their COVID-19 in-kind food assistance to beneficiaries (host communities and refugees) in Beirut, Mount Lebanon & South.
Food Heritage Foundation Cooking for Beirut: In response to the catastrophic explosion on August 4, 2020 that decimated Beirut, the Food Heritage Foundation team established Cooking for Beirut, a hunger relief effort in the framework of the Ardi Ardak initiative, to help feed the city's most vulnerable victims of the tragedy. About 300 meals were distributed daily to those in need. The food is sourced from small local producers and packed and prepared in the kitchens of Khayrat Bekaana Coop in Khiara village, West Bekaa, and the Akleh community kitchen in Zico House, Beirut.