You have probably seen one of the boxes scattered around the capital. The box reads in clear Arabic font “Clean Food, Take what you Need”. We started noticing them a while back, and decided to look into it. The first 50x50cm boxes we found were in Maadi in front of Stavolta and Tabla Luna. It is clear that an initiative like this is needed in Egypt. Sadly, the level of poverty in Egypt means that many cannot afford food nowadays. It was good to know that some will be saved the humiliation of begging, or even worse, looking for food where they shouldn’t.
The initiative is called Moharbet Elgoo’ Sahla (Fighting Hunger is Easy). We looked up their page on Facebook, the link to which was on the box. And we found out that their boxes reach much further than this little Maadi street. There are boxes like these in 11 different governorates all over Egypt.
Surprisingly, the box we found was empty. We got curious, and so we started asking about it. As it turns out, the box was empty due to the fact that people’s enthusiasm about the initiative was short-lived. The boxes were full in the beginning. And as time went by, people stopped donating as often. There were still many questions that we needed answered. That’s why we got in touch with the founder, Mohamed Sorour.
Mohamed Sorour started this initiative with two of his friends, Mohamed Abdel Fattah and Ahmed Ehab. He surprised us by letting us know that the number of boxes is much more than we had thought. At the time when this article was written, 350 boxes were implemented all over Cairo. Sorour and his friends started this initiative after noticing plenty of people resorting to eating from the garbage.
“We wanted to give them clean food from homes and restaurants”, Sorour says, “excess food that we throw away anyway. We wanted to deliver it in a humane way, instead of them looking for it in the garbage”. The boxes can contain up to 3 meals. This makes it easier for the food to be consumed before it spoils.
We had to comment on the fact that the box we found was empty. We related to Sorour what the employees at Tabla Luna told us about people not leaving food as often. He told us that they are aware of it and are dealing with it, “there’s a follow-up team that always checks the boxes. If participation is slow, we raise awareness about it. We tell people, hand out flyers and so on”, Sorour tells, “boxes that are found to be useless, we move to other areas”.
Sorour assured that when those in need find out where the boxes are located, they wait for food to be placed there regularly. Since the box takes 3 meals only, the food doesn’t spoil. As it doesn’t last over 15 minutes in the box.
Egypt’s hunger problem reaches more than we are aware of. Plenty of people, who don’t look like they could be going to bed hungry, do just that. The most frightening part is that it will not be solved quickly. The country is not only battling with hunger, but also with poverty and lack of education and healthcare. It will be a long time before Egyptians stop worrying about hunger. However, until then, we need more initiatives like Fighting Hunger is Easy. Sorour assured us that they are expanding, “we have boxes in 11 governorates now, and two clean food fridges in Saudi”, he says.
Sorour’s initiative is appreciated by those it helps as well as many others. People want to help; they just need to find a way to do so. No one wants to see others eat out of the garbage. All it took for this to start is three friends who wanted to make a difference. Fighting Hunger is Easy is not an NGO or an institution of any sort. They are just three Egyptians who decided to do some good.
To contact Fighting Hunger is Easy, check their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/goo3misr
Or call their phone number: 01146603824