The Cesta Fresca (Fresh Basket) project aims to bring healthy food to the most vulnerable families in the Morro da Providência, the oldest in Brazil and backdrop to the famous Central do Brasil (yes, from the movie). Most members of this community work informal jobs and are now faced with a choice of either respecting social isolation or having nothing to put on the table.
Access to healthy food should not be a privilege, and we want to show that fresh and unprocessed products can be an economically viable alternative to many non-perishable products that are already being distributed. The products are sourced from the Landless Rural Workers Movement, a network of activists defending agrarian reform and agroeocological practices (and LGBTQI rights! - they are that cool) throughout Brazil. They are bought at a fair price and delivered on the same day. The residents, previously mapped out through surveys, are called at pre-defined times at the distribution center to avoid crowds. This is also an occasion to distribute masks to those that may still need them.
In the first edition, 100 families were reached, with the support of many community volunteers to organize the distribution. Beyond the short-term objective of ensuring food security during the pandemic, the project aims to connect the struggles of marginalised communities in the country and the city. In the long term, it also aims to transform cultural habits around food consumption in the favela and address the malnutrition and host of associated health problems which have made these communities especially vulnerable to Covid-19.
The cost of a complete basket of fruits and vegetables is around US$ 4.00/€3.60. Content will vary every week according to the offer, but our goal is to perpetuate the scheme in the coming weeks, extending it as long as the need for social isolation continues, reaching as many families as possible.
Contents of the Fresh Basket for the first edition (Sunday, May 24): 1 kg of cassava1 kg sweet potato1 kg of yam1 dozen banana1 dozen oranges1 dozen lemons1 bunch of cabbage
SOS Morro da providencia