Agencies across Serbia are studying FRB’s Smederevo food security program as a model for alleviating and preventing hunger and poverty in the country. Carried out by the Red Cross, the program is the only one of its kind in Serbia. After a recent series of meetings and visits, the program’s on-site food production model may be replicated in other rural communities which have high numbers of people in need. As a result of years of conflict, there are many elderly, sick, unemployed, or marginalized people, including families with children, who need support.
The Smederevo soup kitchen feeds 1,250 people per day. Much of the food is vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy products and honey produced on site. This means the soup kitchen is less affected by the volatile prices of food supplies and prices, and can provide better nutrition for all beneficiaries. It also means jobs in the program’s greenhouses, gardens, orchards, apiaries and animal shelters for a number of beneficiaries who are able to work. Parents of children in the program receive training on nutrition and hygiene. Workshops on income generation further support participants in their efforts to rise out of poverty.
Importantly, the program supports those who are unable to care for all of their basic needs themselves. It raises local communities’ awareness about the issues of poverty and marginalization and encourages networking to find solutions for the needs of so many in their midst.
This program has been supported by FRB's Community Growing Projects. For more information or to support this program or others like it, please visit the Overseas Program page on our website www.foodsresourcebank.org