Chef serves free stew in Ghana as people struggling to afford food

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.”

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