“It’s hard to study or work if you are hungry,” says French councilor Arash Derambarsh, speaking from personal experience.
Arash is responsible for the petition of more than 200,000 people that prompted French lawmakers to adopt the Loi Macron, which, in part, forces French supermarkets to preserve and distribute leftover, unexpired food to charities nationwide.
He explains, “When I was a law student living on about €400 a month after I’d paid my rent, I used to have one proper meal a day around 5pm.” It was an experience that changed his life and helped guide him toward a concerted effort to distribute one of humanity’s most valuable commodities — food — to those that need it.
When the campaign began, it was local. Derambarsh and others involved would collect unwanted food from supermarkets in the area and distribute it to those in need. “Every day we’d help around 100 people. Half would be single mothers with several children, pensioners or public workers on low salaries, the other half would be those living on the streets or in shelters.”
Arash Derambarsh, pictured front center, with a crew to deliver unsold food — Image Credit Bertrand Guay/AFP
Now, he plans to take the campaign global. With the help of the ONE campaign, the movement will be seen by the United Nations when it discusses its Millennium development goals to end poverty in September, as well as at the G20 economic summit in Turkey in November and the COP21 environment conference in Paris in December.
This effort will slash the estimated 1.3 billion tons of food, wasted, every year globally.
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