For every Penne Giardinera pasta dish purchased in our restaurants, we donate 50p on your behalf to Action Against Hunger.
You have helped us raise an amazing £1.5 million so far to support A.A.H. projects in Africa.
Action Against Hunger are a dedicated and hardworking humanitarian charity dedicated to saving the lives of malnourished children and providing families with access to safe water and good nutrition in the poorest countries across the globe.
Truly inspired by their tireless work, we have worked with this charity since 2007 by raising funds through pasta donations and through our own staff running marathons, cycle races and many more activities.
Our latest co-funded project with Action Against Hunger, is focusing on the root causes of malnutrition in Senegal. This has a very high presence within the country and largely affects children under 5 years old, 9.8% of the overall population. In some vulnerable areas of the country, it exceeds the emergency threshold of 15%. Matam is one of the worst affected areas of the country, with 1 in 5 (19%) of children under 5 are severely malnourished. The projects objectives are to strengthen the management and prevention of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) at community level by developing community skills and improving sustainability by building capacities of two major national stakeholders in nutrition and food security.
In April this year, Simon (our co-founder and Chairman) led a small team to Senegal to see how the funds that you’ve kindly helped to raise has been spent. Over the course of 5 days they travelled through Dakar (the Senegalese capital), Matam, and Orkadiere. By the end of Day 1, they were high on emotion to see how privileged we are, realising just how easily things can be taken for granted. From just the people that they met in the local villages - the team found the whole experience truly amazing and yet humbling. It brought home the reason why we are fundraising and made us proud to be part of it all.
Watch Simon and team make Penne Giardinera
in 45 degree heat on our YouTube channel
For further information on the Senegalise project Action Against Hunger are working on, click on their logo.
Read on for the full story on previous trips from Simon Kossoff, Chairman
Throughout we were struck by the contrast between the terrible situation faced by the people we met and their utter delight, welcome and hospitality for a small group of rather overwhelmed Carluccio’s representatives.
Myself and a keen member of our team (an avid fundraiser) visited Burkina Faso.
We left London early on a Sunday morning for a flight to Paris and then onward to Ougadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. We continued our journey driving over five hours South East via Fada to Pama. Finally after more than 48 hours we climbed into the truck this morning to visit our projects.
We saw a clay hut village where we are running a "warrantage" project. Warrantage is loan system where families put their harvest into a store and are paid 80% of the value as a loan. 6 months later they withdraw their grain and sell it at the higher out of season price for only a miniscule interest rate.
I was asked to unlock the grain bank and we saw the 69 sacks the village had stored last season. The villagers are advised to spend the grain loan on setting up income generating activity and we saw a family who dry and de husk rice raising the value by 60% and another who brews a local "beer" Dolo. We tasted her half finished product - it reminded me of beer I brewed as a student!
Next stop a vegetable garden where we help provide the well, the seeds, the training and fence to allow a community to grow their own food in what is otherwise a bone dry landscape.
Last stop a community meeting in a very poor village where last year they suffered terrible drought and our money helped out. I was asked to speak to the meeting which I did in English, then translated to French, then the local language. As the translation trickled through all 150 villagers laughed! I don’t know why.
If our previous experiences were about seeing successful projects in the field then the next were much harder, visiting the malnutrition projects that are at the hard edge of the work AAH do here in Burkina.
We have debated what images to send as some of what we saw was quite difficult but what is an enduring reminder of the trip is the MUAC band. A simple tool that measures arm circumference in children from 6 months to 5 years old. It is a reliable indicator of whether a child is severely malnourished. It includes a simple green, orange, red indication, unfortunately all too many of the children we met were in the “red” zone.
But though these experiences are hard it makes me all the more proud of the difference we have made. But whilst £1,300,000 is a big number, it’s really just a start.
In early May 2009 Neil Pangbourne, our logistics manager, and I had the opportunity to travel to Monrovia the capital of Liberia in West Africa to see the Action Against Hunger Projects where the money we are raising from Penne Giardinera sales is being spent.
Liberia was a wealthy country in the 1960s and 1970s helped by natural resources of diamonds and rubber, but years of political strife and civil war have destroyed infrastructure and displaced millions of people. Monrovia a city who's population has doubled in just a few years to 900,000 (the size of Birmingham) has no electricity, no running water and wholly inadequate sanitation, 85% of the people are unemployed and life expectancy is only 45 years.
Despite this awful and frightening backdrop our money is delivering results. We saw the children's feeding centre which cares for 120 mothers and their severely malnourished babies. There we met emaciated babies who would die without access to the clinic and a wonderful 18 month old boy called Maddison, cured with our help a few months ago and now a bouncy and very cheeky young man.
We visited the slum town of Westpoint to meet people living in the worst imaginable conditions there joining Ernesto, a social worker who we support, and his group of teenage mothers who simply have no idea how to care for their children. Children who without Ernesto's and our support could simply fade away.
An idea born from a company Christmas party - cycling from Glasgow to London to raise money for Action Against Hunger, was a huge success. At over 480 gruelling miles the team of 6 employees and our CEO took 6 days to cover the distance. In the process they raised over £48,000.
And because the challenge was serious Bianchi Cycles kindly teamed up with us and donated the excellent Nexus 7 bikes to help the team on their quest.