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FLR349 supports marginalised communities during COVID-19 pandemic fallout.

23 April 2020

23 April 2020: Chiangmai , Thailand

Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, businesses of all sectors are suffering. The agricultural sector is no exception. Focusing on the North of Thailand, many farmers – including those part of the FLR349 project - are struggling to sell their agricultural products due to closure of market places and logistics and supply chain difficulties bought on by the pandemic. The tourism and service sectors are also among the most impacted. Many marginal communities engaged in the service sector in the urban areas of Chiangmai have no income during this lockdown, and thus no food to feed their families. Humans, unfortunately, are not the only ones impacted. Many animals are also struggling, such as elephant in sanctuaries that have been severely affected due to the decline in tourism.
Collective actions, for collective impacts
In order to contribute to the fight against the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, WWF-Thailand and FLR349, along with partners like The Central Group, established the “Food Sharing for Love” project to create collective actions for collective impacts. The project is hosted and implemented in collaboration with a local partner organisation, the Doi Inthanon Conservation Trust Fund Foundation. The foundation is seeking food donations and raising funds to source various produce like herbs, vegetables, and fruits directly from the FLR349 project's farmers and its local organic farmers network that are struggling due to the market closures and supply chain collapse.

Agricultural products from FLR349 plots

Logistic arrangement
Distribution of the food is systematic and comprehensive, reaching marginal communities that have trouble accessing food all around Chiangmai. As WWF-Thailand cares for the well being of all life on Earth, this initiative also goes towards helping elephants in sanctuaries affected by the reduction in tourism.

Food delivered to the marginal communities

In all, the project targets to benefit over 2400 families and 40 elephants, in Chiangmai province, per month. The initial project plan is to operate until July 2020, or 3 months from now.

Bananas from FLR349 plots donated to the elephant sanctuaries. 

Through buying organic produce from struggling farmers and distributing it to those in need, the initiative will create a much-needed sustainable cycle in this time of crisis.  Taking into consideration the dangers of the pandemic and the spread of the virus, the initiative is setting up base at and distributing from the Royal Panerai Hotel, Chiang Mai, limiting the areas where people must travel.

Food storage at the Royal Panerai Hotel, Chiang Mai
Since the initiative initiation on the 20th of April 2020, a significant amount of food and funds have already been donated from the Central Group, local business companies, and many individuals. The delivery of products is carried out by a local logistic company, Nim See Seng, for free of charge. 

Each set of food donation will include organic vegetables, eggs and rice, which will be good for 1 week of consumption. 


Media Contact
Abhinand Aryapratheep