Seven years of war have destroyed the livelihoods of many families in Aleppo. Large parts of the city, once a metropolis of more than two million people, are in ruins. The humanitarian situation of the people remains very difficult. There is a lack of everything. Local residents, as well as numerous internally displaced people, have to be provided for, with a barely existing infrastructure. Every day, families face the difficult task of getting enough food to meet their needs.
9000 meals every day
In cooperation with its partner organisation in Syria, Caritas Switzerland has provided food supplies for the people in Aleppo since February 2015. The partner organisation runs a large kitchen, employing local staff and supporting local markets. From Monday to Friday, it distributes 9'000 hot daily meals to people in need. The team uses five diesel and nine gas cookers to prepare between 4.2 and 7.2 tons of food each week. The diesel cookers have been specifically developed for this purpose, because gas prices have increased and diesel can be obtained more easily in Aleppo.
Everyone receives a portion appropriate to their needs
The cooks prepare menus based on Syrian cuisine. The menu consists of 35 recipes for a variety of dishes. Each person receives a portion that is tailored to their individual needs. Age, gender and state of health are the criteria used to decide whether a person is given a large portion (around 1,680 calories), a medium-sized portion (around 1,300 calories), or a smaller portion (around 1,680 calories). The team also takes account of special circumstances, such as pregnancy or breastfeeding, when determining the portions.
The meals are prepared by combining staple foods such as rice, bulgur, spaghetti, fava beans and lentils with fresh foods that can be found in the local markets (dairy products, vegetables, meat and spices). When the meals are ready, the staff from the partner organisation put them in stainless steel vats. They deliver the vats to various distribution centres in the city where the meals are given to the people in need.
The soup kitchen is part of the local partner organisation’s comprehensive emergency relief programme.