Class of 2021
34 / Beirut, Lebanon
Born in Lviv, Ukraine
The environmental agitator challenging big business to end food poverty in Lebanon
Maya Terro set out to tackle the global plight of food waste in her home country Lebanon with the creation of FoodBlessed, a hunger relief and food rescue initiative that aims to reduce the number of people going hungry, while making sure no good food goes to waste. Seeing the paradox between food waste (approximately a third of the world’s food produced for human consumption is lost every year) and food insecurity (about 60% of Lebanon’s population lives under the poverty line), she co-founded her community-based and volunteer-driven organisation to address both issues at once.
FoodBlessed’s model is as simple as it is brilliant. The non-profit intercepts surplus, unsaleable and unwanted food from supermarkets, retailers, farmers markets, social events and even rubbish bins, and transforms it into wholesome free meals for those in need. Driven purely by volunteers, FoodBlessed prepares and delivers wholesome hot meals and food assistance packages to underprivileged, vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in Lebanon. To date, the initiative has served over 1.5 million nutritious meals to those in need and diverted over 1 million tonnes of food from landfill. Thanks to an exceptional team of Hunger Heroes, and under Maya's leadership, FoodBlessed has successfully distributed 25,000 food boxes to over 100,000 food insecure and at-risk community members.
In 2020, and following the Beirut port blast, Maya set up community kitchens in Beirut by making use of businesses that had to shut down their kitchen operations. The community kitchen was able to prepare and deliver 100,000 meals to blast victims.
“My mission is to unite and nourish communities through the power of food, social responsibility and volunteering, while making sure no good food is wasted.” – Maya Terro