Partage

“Sharing makes us better.”

Geneva

Helping people in need while fighting food waste. A Geneva-based food bank, Partage, has been working to achieve both of these objectives, mobilizing donations and collecting surplus and unsold food from companies to supply vulnerable households.

“The idea of creating Partage was initiated by a few associations working in Geneva in support of people living in difficult social conditions,” says Catherine Christ[A1]  Revas, responsible for communication and fundraising at Partage while her colleague  Julien Rigoulet, Assistant Communication Officer, and a participant in a professional rehabilitation programme offered at Partage, said  “More than a learning and working experience, the opportunity to communicate Partage's work is a great thing.”

Partage redistributes food to people through about 50 associations, including using electric delivery tricycles to transport the foodstuffs. It collected 338 tonnes of food products in 2019 through supermarket collection campaigns. Partage also prepares and distributes free soup from unsold vegetables in the winter season.

The year 2020, however, brought unprecedented needs. While normally, some 10 000 people in Geneva receive assistance per week from Partage, the COVID-19 pandemic drove the figure up to 14 000 people. 

Some 800 tonnes of the food accessed by Partage in 2019 came from food products salvaged from trash bins—a reminder of the great potential to meet multiple needs by reducing food waste.

The work at Partage is built on the three pillars of the internationally-agreed 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda: the social aspect, by helping people in need, the economic aspect, by providing support to professional rehabilitation, and the environmental aspect, by fighting against food waste and incorporating electric delivery tricycles. 

Partage is a key partner of FAO and every year, together with the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) and local authorities in Geneva, the food bank marks World Food Day with an exhibition at Geneva’s main train station, Cornavin, to engage the public on food security and nutrition issues. Soup made with surplus vegetables is also served.

By taking action in their community, the food heroes at Partage are giving new meaning to the old adage, « waste not, want not. »

 

©Germán Meliante

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