Market porters sat on overturned metal bowls outside Ghana’s capital Accra, discouraged by the lack of business as the oncoming rain scared consumers from surrounding stalls while storm clouds circled a massive zinc shed outside Ghana’s capital Accra.
The silence was broken by a rumbling sound when gourmet chef Elijah Addo arrived in a food truck and began serving hot plates of beef stew.
When the 31-year-old declared they were free, everyone’s eyes brightened and bright faces queued up behind the truck.
Addo stated that he has two main goals: to minimize hunger and food waste. With food costs up 30% on an annual basis in May, he’s finding that more and more individuals, even those with jobs and families, are resorting to his food truck.
“It all started in 2011 with a handicapped man I met on the street who would collect unwanted food from the hotel where I worked,” Addo recounted.
“When I questioned why he did it, he said, ‘If I don’t do it, who will?'”
Addo was so moved that he established West Africa’s largest food bank, a school feeding program, and bi-weekly food truck deliveries in Accra’s poorest neighborhoods.
Since 2015, Addo’s organization, Food For All Africa, has provided over 3 million meals. Unsold stock from supermarkets, wholesalers, and farmers makes up around 40% of the ingredients, which would otherwise wind up in landfills.
Chefs For Change, Food For All’s precursor group, discovered in 2014 that more than 35% of Ghana’s food is wasted.
According to 2016 official data, more than 28% of individuals in Ghana, one of West Africa’s major economies, cannot afford to spend more than $0.83 per day on food.
That was before soaring inflation set a new 18-year high in May, marking a full year of faster-than-expected price rises that the government is fighting to control.
After a morning of cooking, Addo stated, “What we’re doing is significant.” “It’s part of Ghana’s effort to strengthen its social system.”