Giving Compass' Take:

• Marianne Dhenin describes the unparalleled efforts of the grassroots organizations who're helping those in need during Lebanon's food crisis.

• How can you help these organizations support those suffering during Lebanon's food crisis?

• Read about how you can use impact investing to support food systems worldwide.

Lebanon is facing a major food crisis. Struck by an unprecedented economic meltdown, nationwide protests, and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, more than 3.7 million people in the small Middle Eastern nation, which houses more refugees per capita than any other, are struggling to afford staple foods. On Aug. 4, with Lebanon already on the brink, massive explosions at the Port of Beirut destroyed the only large grain silo in the nation and the main entry point for essential food imports, exacerbating existing shortages. As the Lebanese people grieve the loss of more than 200 lives, famine looms.

As political leadership flounders, a grassroots network of Lebanese organizations, with support from thousands of volunteers and contributors, is coming together on the ground to fight the looming food crisis.

FoodBlessed operates several meal centers and a community kitchen in Beirut, from which a host of volunteers prepare and deliver almost 1,000 meals every day to families in need. Volunteers also pack and deliver about 400 boxes of nonperishables to people across Lebanon every week. “FoodBlessed delivers food assistance to anyone in need,” says Terro.

Lebanon’s combined challenges already had strained the country’s food security infrastructure to the breaking point. The explosion threatened to push the country over the edge.

Even with its meal centers closed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, FoodBlessed has increased its weekly goal for delivering food assistance packages. The organization has provided more than 5,000 packages to people in need since it closed its meal centers in March.

FoodBlessed’s database of beneficiaries includes migrant workers, addicts, disabled people, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, and weekly delivery routes take the volunteers through neighborhoods of refugees in southern Lebanon and to low-income districts in the North.

Read the full article about the organizations fighting Lebanon's food crisis by Marianne Dhenin at YES! Magazine.