Slow Food Heroes: Taste@Home Fund for the Covid19 Emergency

Adele Jarrett photo: Carla Ulrich
Portrait of Catherine Simonis: Fabian Grimm, Catherine

Since its founding, Slow Food Youth Berlin has been working with local producers to help them value and promote their activities. During the pandemic, this work, which was always done mostly on the Internet, was transmitted without losing the usual passion. Created by Catherine and Adele from the first Slow Food Youth Berlin [email protected] In an effort to help producers present their products during online tasting. The box was delivered by bike on an initiative they collaborated with. They organized this event during closing twice, with different products.

“It was so much fun!”. These are the first words Catherine Simonis and Adele Garrett from Slow Food Youth Berlin describe their idea.

It’s really strange to hear this, connected to a time in history when the entire world was nothing but amusement. The pandemic has spread everywhere and millions of people have seen it threatening not only their lives but also years of work and effort, professionally speaking. This was the case, for example, of small producers, crushed by bans on markets and various closure rules, who risked not selling a large part of their crop.

But it is in the nature of young people to have energy, ideas, and determination, and to see in every difficulty an opportunity, a way to rise and move forward.

And this is the story of Catherine Simonis and Adele Garrett, who during the first lockdown of 2020 were looking for an idea to be more proactive and help the community cope with the emergency. This is how they applied it [email protected] can.

“Since the idea was conceived, we were able to organize the first event in a few weeks, with time,” they explained. “We were so excited about this that we did everything we could to make it possible.”

“We didn’t just think about producers – Catherine and Adele told us – who could no longer sell their products, surviving competition from big supermarkets that seemed to be the only way to shop during lockdown, and above all they could no longer promote their work and their philosophy. We also thought In consumers, who can no longer really choose the way of shopping that is settled and locked up at home, they also have plenty of time to learn and sow the seeds of change in the way they eat once the pandemic is over. It was the right opportunity!”

So, while the world stopped, this group of young activists in Germany did everything in their power to find local producers, collect their products, organize tastings, and give boxes for free to those who decided to participate.

“We wanted to introduce people in Berlin to good local producers and open up a conversation between producers and consumers so they could get to know the people behind our food better.”

Participants paid for the products, a box containing cheese, wine, bread and chocolate, which were delivered free of charge by Schokofahrt with their freight bikes.

“We had 70 participants and were overwhelmed with positive feedback and comments, both from producers, who had the possibility to explain what they were doing and from consumers, who discovered new facts around them. In the end, we donated money to the Slow Food Youth Group in Berlin, in order to help with the Organizing new educational activities. “We’re really glad we were able to lend a hand and get people to come together, even if it’s virtually, to know that it’s good, clean, and fair food around them.”

“It is not difficult to create initiatives like ours. All you have to do is form a network of interested consumers and small local producers who grow according to the Slow Food philosophy. The means of organizing tastings online are numerous now. Perhaps the only critical issue is the delivery of products, which should be sustainable and not dependent on regulations that favor emissions or pollution The suggestion might be to keep these initiatives within a limited scope or rely on volunteers who can help deliver products, perhaps at one point in the city SFYN is available to welcome other young people and to organize other similar initiatives together Only together can we change the diet, starting with our free time or in moments when everything seems to be lost,” the activists added.

Slow Food Heroes is a funded project by the European Cultural Foundation, with CRC Foundation Contribution.
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