About Food Foundation Bulgaria
Obesity is a broad problem amongst Bulgarian children. Around 30% are overweight which makes the country 5th in Europe. Bulgaria is on top positions in children consumption of low nutrition food. Viа hundreds of free culinary workshops, we will show to Bulgarian children, parents, teachers and local communities that healthy food means balanced, nutrient meal, containing all food groups. It is easy and interesting, especially when children are active part in the process.
National campaign, Bulgaria, targeting small towns/villages, е.g Yambol, Dulovo etc
The estimation by WHO is that in 2025 the number of overweight children in Bulgaria will be 253 000. The lack of unified, long term government strategy in preventing and fighting the problem leaves this difficult task to parents and teachers. Children obesity and food malnutrition in the country are widespread problems that affect all society clusters, but are massively observed in families with low income, parents that are less educated and less informed, mainly employed on entry/low positions. Most parents don’t realize the correlation between the balanced, high nutrition, healthy food and the health of the children, thus prefer to serve pre-packed, highly processed food and/or full of artificial ingredients. The trend is highly observed in small towns and villages.
The main activity of About Food foundation, as well as Food revolution day, is carried out by volunteers. With their work they create healthy community in the town/village. We provide information for balanced food and living, prepared by experts. That gives volunteers an expert knowledge and know-how on the importance of food. They gain experience in leading groups of people in a modern way, team work and cross-town communication. We recruit local volunteers such as teachers, community center workers, parents, who have tasks in all operational phases of the campaign . Pre-activation: they register, plan and organize workshop for 15-20 children. Activation: they lead and present the idea and motivate the participants to be active. Post-activation: they gather feedback and visual materials
The campaign consists free culinary workshops for children, in an age-appropriate way. Usually children are excluded from choosing and preparing the meal and we give them the opportunity to participate and share. The groups we engage with this project are not only children but parents, teachers, medical workers and state administration representatives. The communities cooperate during the workshops, so we have cross-group communication, which, based on our experience so far, gives us and the groups invaluable perspectives and feedback. Since 2017 we have steady growth in participants, volunteers and settlements. The first edition gathered 1000 children, 100 volunteers in 18 settlements, in 2019 they are 8000 - 600 - 60. We are now estimating 2020. In 2021 we aim at 500 more volunteers.
Food revolution day is a national campaign, thus we use a key visual of all materials, distributed to the public. We plan to use 360⁰ approach in communication – all available channels for communication + extension of the audience, volunteers, participants, locations.
We intend to use massive communication in order to recruit as much volunteers as possible, thus to ensure high number of free culinary workshops.
Doing so, we give parents and teachers an interesting and highly productive tool for explaining the significance of the quality and healthy food.
A year from now, we will have the Food revolution day we’ve dreamed about – with more than 10 000 children, that prepared their own healthy meal. More than 20 000 parents, that were happy their children choose fresh and balanced food over prepacked junk food. 1000 volunteers that have communicated the core values of the campaign to children, parents, grandparents teachers. That all family members in less developed areas and regions have heard and thought about the consequences of the artificial ingredients, prepacked junk food to their children and considered more balanced and rich in nutrition diet, including meals, prepared with love and care. After all, children may, need and must be involved in food preparation process as early as possible.
Every child has the right to eat food, sufficient in nutrients, ensuring growth. Huge percentage of Bulgarian children suffer from obesity and food malnutrition. They do not get the food necessary to grow, but highly processed one, rich of refined, artificial ingredients, etc. Our main goal is to show that healthy food is easy to source and to give the right tools to families, teachers and communities. Parents lack information about the obesity and food malnutrition. Most of them think that healthy food is fashion, expensive, extreme. They miss the information that healthy food means balanced, diverse, high in nutrition that includes all food groups. There is no government strategy to point that to society. There are different activities, but they are inconsistent and not coordinated.
In 2016 two mothers face all aspects of feeding in Bulgarian kindergartens, school and the food served to children by their parents and grandparents. Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s Food revolution movement, they start acting immediately. Тhe famous chef terminates the enterprise in 2018, but we don’t. About food foundation gathers volunteers all over the country. We all are parents, familiar with the difficulties that families in Bulgaria meet in raising their children. We monitor Bulgarian legislation in terms of children feeding, propose adjustments and participate in government working groups. We support families with special food needs, like allergies, health conditions etc. We partner with other organizations to support better life for Bulgarian children, e.g. better healthcare etc.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Design, materials for campaign:1500 EUR
Communication - social media, influencers, media: 5000 EUR
Print materials: 5000 EUR
Giveaways for children and volunteers: 20000 EUR
Operational, e.g. logistics, phones, internet, agency fees, personnel cost: 15500 EUR
Kick off meeting: 3000 EUR
We'd be happy to hear comments about the acceptance and the relevance of the idea. Is it applicable - when, where, how. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated.