Credit: Stëmm vun der Strooss

Stëmm vun der Strooss, a local non-profit organisation which works for the social and professional integration of disadvantaged people, has announced it has begun a collaboration with the International School of Luxembourg (ISL) to reduce food waste and distribute meals to those in need since the first week of November.

With over 900 meals a day served in the three social restaurants of Stëmm vun der Strooss, including almost 400 in Luxembourg City, the restaurant in Hollerich (7 rue de la Fonderie) has reportedly been very busy and struggling to cope with demand. It is common for all the menus of the day to be finished by 14:00. This forces head chef Thilo Umbach to get creative to provide a meal for all recipients, the organisation noted.

Steve Zeimes, Head of Facilities and Security at ISL, initiated this new collaboration in partnership with EUREST, managing the two on-site production kitchens along with Jill Jucken, a qualified educator at Stëmm vun der Strooss, and Thilo Umbach. The non-profit organisation retrieves unsold items from the secondary and primary school cafeterias at ISL three times a week. Fresh products such as salads and vegetables, as well as cooked meals, are collected at around 13:30 and served immediately afterwards in the social restaurant in Hollerich, which significantly eases the head cook’s effort.

Meals were offered to the Stëmm vun der Strooss on Tuesday 14 November 2023, in the presence of ISL Director David J Condon. To ensure that the food stays warm until it arrives at the social restaurant and to comply with HACCP standards, the association invested in the purchase of four isothermal boxes to transport the food. The Stëmm vun der Strooss was able to count on the generous support of the Luxembourg Branch of the CACEIS Bank, which donated €5,425 to finance the isothermal boxes.

Furthermore, Steve Zeimes' initiative also envisions that EUREST become a primary point of contact to integrate refugees working in the kitchens of Stëmm vun der Strooss into the professional world. To facilitate their integration, ISL will set up language courses for them, taught by students, under the supervision of teachers.

Alexandra Oxacelay, Director of the non-profit association, said: "This project fits in perfectly with Stëmm's objectives, which aim to provide meals for those in need and reduce food waste. At the same time, it makes it possible to sensitise high school students to the problems associated with precarious living conditions in Luxembourg."