Avignon FAL is led by the municipal central kitchen, which is trying to improve its meals’ quality and raise children’s awareness about good food.
During the last few months, some partnerships were consolidated and set up with new suppliers, who are all key stakeholders identified to build a qualitative public food service. Our daily menus offer:
- local and organic bread
- local and organic beef meat
- organic dairy products (cow milk and cheese, goat cheese)
- local and organic vegetables prepared by a dedicated unit
- organic soups and fruit purees made by a local canning factory.
From September 2022 on, we also decided to have only one meat-based menu per week (composed of four menus).
At the same time, one of our biggest challenges became a success: the ban on plastic. That means the ban of all plastic containers from our food catering system and the development of a local network to implement a new and efficient no-plastic path from cooking the food to collecting and washing, once used, our new stainless-steel containers. Once we accomplished this huge change, we received so many requests to share good practices that we disseminated them widely, locally, and even further in France.
The connections with other municipalities were really strong, especially on this topic, and it was an intense period of sharing knowledge and good practices, especially with our Fellow Cities Regions. We had some relevant contacts with our three FELs, who gave us reciprocal advice and inspiration.
We continued to fight against food waste, setting up a partnership with the “Fair Supermaket” to define our donation process when there is food left over. Children from our Municipal Council are supporting this objective, as described previously in another Avignon FAL blogpost.
We are also exploring organic waste composting and launching a pilot action to compost our central kitchen’s biowaste.
Our partnership with the research institute INRAE allowed us to go further in new areas, such as exploring how children from our schools eat at home and their appreciation of school meals. e created a survey (online and face-to-face) that was disseminated through 12 schools. Some dedicated times were organized within some schools to meet the parents and speak about the school meals and canteen environment.
To thank the schools that were involved in the survey project, 12 schools were invited by Avignon FAL on Thursday, June 15th, and Friday, June 16th, to a whole-day event about food.
Various local NGO’s proposed activities linked to the food chain, from agricultural topics to biowaste ones! Around 280 children from 8 years old to 11 had the opportunity to experiment with three different activities (two in the morning and one in the afternoon):
- LES JARDINS du COLIBRI: cooking easily without cooking appliances
- LES JEUNES POUSSES: making seedlings
- LES PETITES CHOSES: making seedlings within some recycled food containers from the central kitchen
- TERRES de VRAI: exploring bees’ world
- LATITUDES: thinking about advertising
- SEMAILLES: speaking about seasonality
- BLEUE BELLULES: speaking about « kids menus »
- LES PETITS DEBROUILLARDS: making fruit juices with an incredibile « bicycle blender »
- LE GRAND AVIGNON et ses ambassadeurs du tri: playing and sorting food packaging
- La VILLE D’AVIGNON : escape game about food waste and cooking workshop
So many discoveries, including the use of dry toilets, especially rented for the event!
All day long, everything took place in a municipal park in the shade of pines, except for the « cooking workshop » that was held in a social center that accepted to lend its kitchen and welcome the children during these two days. Children were delighted by this cooking time, preparing some delicious and typical French biscuits called « navettes », sweet and salty.
The final shared word from adults and children was: « When can we repeat such a day? »
I’m hoping the sown seeds during these two days will grow and give rise to beautiful projects about food within the schools.