Young people and their innovative ideas have the power to change the food system. The Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) Young Earth Solutions! (YES!) program was established in 2012 to encourage young people—specifically, students under the age of 35—to develop innovative solutions to problems within the global food system.
Federica Marra’s project, Manna From Our Roofs, won BCFN YES! in 2012. Manna From Our Roofs is a pioneering way for urban eaters and entrepreneurs to grow, produce, and access food. According to Marra, her project fulfills two goals: “The first is making cities more sustainable, more livable places; and the second is finding ways to personally and emotionally involve other young people around what I call a new ecology of food.”
Manna From Our Roofs rescues abandoned city buildings and transforms them into multi-layered urban farms incorporating roof gardens, window farms, and edible walls. “I came up with the Manna From Our Roofs project to engage young people across OECD [Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] countries in an international network of activities combining education, communication, and business,” Marra told Food Tank.
In 2013 Makame Mahmud from Bangladesh and his team took the top prize with their idea, VALUE+. “BCFN YES! has given me the platform to generate an idea to ensure food security for the people living in the bottom of the pyramid,” Mahmud said in a BCFN article. VALUE+ is an integrated food network created to combat food insecurity in the urban slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The network addresses lowering food prices and reducing food waste.
Read the full news on Food Tank: The Food Think Tank.