United Nations经济和社会事务部 可持续发展

The Food box during the cold winter


    A food delivery system was implemented for the isolated homeless in the city. It was very creative as it consisted of niche marketing for people who are invisible in the street, except when the air temperature drop under 10° celsius and up to 0°celsius or minus. So, during Dec.9, 2020, and the end of 2020, the temperature went up to 0°celsius and there was an urgent need to provide food for starving people.


    Reduce the famine during harsh weather conditions for vulnerable persons (migrants, paperless persons, nationals who cannot support the cold, people in precarity...)

    Contribution to SDG Implementation

    The food was bought in the supermarket for less than US$2 per day and per person and delivered with a small electrical bike. The food donation and the 2$ were collected from a team member (nurse) who was a medical health visitor at home. The nurse uses to receive donations (food and beverage from the ill persons, and as it was too much, the donations were placed in the food box) so we do not waste the gift of these ill persons. So, the delivery of food and beverage for less than 2$ per day and with 2300 kcal during the cold winter was supporting the SDG 1, 2, and 3.

    Implementation methodologies

    Success, while there were competitors or organizations that were interested in people in precarity. A monitoring system was put in place by the municipality with CCTV cameras in the district, where the food box and food delivery were acted at the end of the logistic of operations. The resources used were very small and based on low-cost foods but with high calory values (chocolate, butter, chips, cola, ravioli, fourrés with vanilla or chocolate...) either in kind or in numeracy for very small lump sums. The electrical bike was free and allocated by the city service (Uber, Lime, Tier...) based on the electrical mobility from the French, German, and the USA multinationals. So, each time we saw people asking for assistance when looking at these empty places, we filled them with foods and beverages. So, at night when the city is sleepy, they could help themselves Personal - Armenia homeless, on Twitter. I was Tweeting with Armenia, where a friend expressed his concern about Armenia's homeless situation. So, we wanted to demonstrate that actions pay more than inaction. - A local nurse, for specific activities, to provide basic tins of food (chili con carne, chocolate, energetic and healthy milk...) - The food delivery man (physically fit and able to work in low temperatures), who knows where to find the isolated homeless (in tents, isolated streets not visited by the social services, beggars running out of money or foods...migrants) - A foreman (the man of the city street), who was a man who knew perfectly the city collecting point, where and when the homeless are looking for food during the day and night. It was to complete and deter them to look for food in the trash of the city, or when they cannot go out because of the cold weather. They were happy to see us, with a portion of food and a drink to keep them healthy and warm, so they can sleep at night. Technology: - A motorbike (for the nurse touring in the building as a visitor to ill patients, after the visit she received small gifts that were put in the food box - An electrical bicycle, for the food delivery from the supermarket to the boxes (or given in a bag or hand to hand, when the physical contacts were possible with the homeless persons.


    At the end of the cold weather (lesser than 8°C up to minus 2° C), we still saw the people in precarious life that were asking us if we have more food to donate or a bottle of cola. We say no because now the weather was much better and we did not want this climatic and urgent situation to become permanent. Our vision of assistance to vulnerable persons was representing a new situation, linked to a different matter in relation to people empowerment: employment, training, policies, health, mobility, and cultures. So, we were finding a way to keep our promise for the next period of cold weather. The food box was a prototype of what could be made and what must be made in specific contexts, what is calling for urgent action now. Also, it was important to see about the stability of the operations for equipping the food box, and how the ordinary social and civil or homeless organizations can replace us in these places and with low temperatures that can disable NGO activities, due to the need for more resources when there is higher disorganization of the city social service for precarity. So, the critical system of the food box could not be matched by the firefighters, civilian protection, NGOs that we're responding with more resources but in a different time, when they have the knowledge of the people vulnerability.

    Factors and Constraints

    Creative economy and behavioral change to an intent that can create an idea to help others in an unexpected situation of people being isolated for various reasons (time, temperature, precarious life...). The activity of the food box could be implemented in some places (city, nature...), with specific resources ($2, 2000 kcal per day for an individual), so in a free or low-cost economy, which is different from the market economy for paying sophisticated food, with poor energy calories per day. The activity should be limited in time when people are stressed and in a critical condition by hunger, before the arrival of the city police, social RATP, civil protection, fire brigade, or the NGO for the homeless. So, it should be used for the peak of cold temperature, as long as it can last, at a specific time of daylight, so food can be collected, bought, and placed in tactical locations (food boxes) where you can find these homeless persons living in harsh conditions. One has to love to work in extremes. Then, after much time can be dedicated to reporting and management (planning, risks, research of the marketing niches, networking, business intelligence, competitors-cooperations) to find the supports, so it can become a real solidarity action.

    Sustainability and replicability

    100%, speed, and temperature control with a small budget of 2$ per day and per person for the 2000kcal per day. The future development can lead to sophisticated food menus for the same criteria ($2, 2000kcal), sustainable production and consumption (SDG12)

    COVID-19 Impact

    Same as for all, precautionary principle, however living outdoor keep people much healthier from covid 19, than if you stay at home or if you are put in a shelter, it has to be on individual rooms, which is a higher cost for the welfare system than a tent and $2 per day for low-cost food that can bring 2300kcal per individual. Precarity can be a way to manage the vulnerability in the city or remote places while waiting for better economic, social, and ecological conditions.

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    10 December 2020 (start date)
    09 January 2021 (date of completion)
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