How A Mentally Challenged Man Helped To Reduce Food Wastage And Hunger In Ghana

By Chef Elijah A. Addo, Used by permission. Originally posted at SpyGhana

Growing up I told my parents I wanted to be a medical doctor. It was one of those childhood dreams I held onto so much. I fantasized on my dream so much that my classmates called me “Doc” at in 6th grade. But just as the Good book says “Our ways are not the ways of the Lord.” Destiny had a different plan for me. I lost my mom and dad due to the negligence of the very profession that I revered. It was that one single event that change my direction in life to be what I found myself doing ‘’the doctor in the kitchen:” A Chef.

I enjoy being a chef. I love food and the science of creating and improving on recipes from different parts of the world. For the past six years of my career, I have had the opportunity to cook for great men and women across the world but one thing I realized was that, no matter how delicious the food I cooked was, there will always be leftovers. What becomes of the leftovers? Mostly, they are thrown in the trash.

One day, I met this mentally challenged man within the city of Accra going around with black plastic bags distributing food to other mentally challenged people on the streets. This man’s activities drew my interest so much that I had to follow him for two months. I realized this mentally challenged man every morning goes to food vendors on the street with plastic bags so that when someone buys food, the leftovers are gathered for him. Later in the day he goes back to pick the leftovers and distribute it to his mentally challenged friends and has been doing this for many years.

As a chef, I asked myself why can’t I help in reducing food wastage and hunger in Ghana by talking about it, by recovering food to feed the mentally challenged, aged, street kids and vulnerable in society. This brought about the formation of Chefs for Change Ghana Foundation, and for the past three years we have been creating sustainable means of nutrition for the less privileged in Ghana by food recovery. Under our feast of hope project we have fed over 30,000 less privileged and educated millions of Ghanaians on three consecutive UN World food days. Last year under our Food for All Ghana Campaign we planned to build West Africa’s first food recovery bank in Ghana and set a world record in 2015 by laying the longest charity dinner table in the world to feed over eight thousand less privileged in a night.

Looking at the economic, social and environmental impact of food wastage, there is the need for all Ghanaians to come together to help reduce the inefficiencies in our food supply system to reduce food wastage and hunger in Ghana. Why don’t you join the mentally challenged man’s idea of reducing food wastage in Ghana to feed those that need it. This is how the I realized my passion of recovering food to feed those who need it. I am very proud of what I now do and Hope you will be too. Join us to reduce food wastage and hunger in Africa. Food for All Ghana Campaign……..A shared social responsibility.

Source: Food for All Ghana Campaign