B the Change: Together let's show our solidarity
We can all help to bring change! The latest “B the Change” week gives pride of place to three inspiring initiatives that make food a vector for solidarity.
Let’s show our solidarity today so that we can all be all stronger tomorrow
At Valrhona, we care deeply about supporting local communities through a variety of initiatives. Valrhona took action around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, from France to the United States via the Middle East and Japan. More than 90 hospitals, 30 non-profits and 55 residential care homes received gifts of chocolate to support both healthcare professionals and their patients.
We also joined forces with the French Chamber Foundation in Hong Kong to buy masks for older people and people living on low incomes. And we took part in the “United” initiative alongside our sales partner in India, where we aimed to donate 10% of our sales over 2 months to the Doctors For You organization that was battling the pandemic. Valrhona has also taken action on a daily basis beyond the pandemic. So that we can showcase the creations made during courses and training sessions, L’École Valrhona at Tain l’Hermitage has sold them to staff and donated 100% of the profits to local charities.
In the United States, Valrhona donated some of the profits from our Raspberry Inspiration product to the Food Recovery Network student organization Food Recovery, which combats food waste and hunger in the United States. Finally, in Spain we donated €6,000 to the Cocina Conciencia charity which helps young people to find food industry jobs.
How gastronomy is improving post-transplant patients’ quality of life
The Hospital in the city of Nice has discovered that it really is possible to improve patients’ post-transplant nutrition by encouraging them to cook and savor dishes. It emerged out of a remarkable commitment by Prof. Thomas Cluzeau at Nice Hospital and Michelin-starred chef and Relais Chateaux member Jacques Chibois from the Bastide Saint Antoine. It aims to improve the quality of life and nutrition of patients who have received a bone marrow transplant, who have to follow very strict safety protocols and diets in the 100 days following their operation. As a result, they often lose weight, suffer from fatigue and find themselves isolated from friends and family. Thomas Cluzeau and Jacques Chibois teamed up to find a solution by giving patients’ food its flavor and color back through cookery workshops that take into account post-transplant food requirements. After several months, the project reported extremely positive results for patients. Here are some photos from this great initiative.
Ernest, restaurateurs’ solidarity network
From 2015, Ernest has been using a simple tipping system in which the restauranteur adds a few painless centimes to each bill to fund local food drives. More than 200 chefs and restaurants have joined Ernest and, in 2020, more than 140 families attending social centers or shelters in Paris have received a weekly basket of organic local vegetables. But there’s more!
Because the pandemic had made food poverty among the most vulnerable in society even more severe, Ernest decided to adapt and go to its restaurant network members’ kitchens to prepare healthy, tasty meals for the homeless and people living in extremely precarious circumstances. Between March 2020 and May 2021, more than 80,000 meals were prepared and distributed as emergency food aid. As the country emerged out of lockdown, Ernest switched tack again to continue funding its food aid work and improving its impact by opening its very first restaurant not far from Porte de Bagnolet, called Le Sample.
Built over the course of a month by volunteers, it offers a seasonal, affordable menu that fuses bistro cuisine and street food in a place where people can meet and share with each other, in keeping with the organization’s values. This restaurant also offers work to people who have been unemployed over the long-term and gives volunteers and resident chefs the chance to cook together.
We'll see you next month for a new topic with B the Change.