Local Restaurants Are Stepping Up To Meet Food Needs In Türkiye - Building Markets

Local Restaurants Are Stepping Up To Meet Food Needs In Türkiye

by Building Markets
March 10, 2023

Lazord Restaurant is a fixture in the Gaziantep community. After the February 2023 earthquakes destroyed large parts of the city, Lazord’s owner, Lobna Helli, saw immediate food needs within her community and knew she had to help. Her restaurant fortunately suffered only moderate damage from the earthquake, so she decided to use her kitchen to cook hot meals for survivors and deliver them throughout her neighborhood with the help of 13 employees and volunteers. So far, Lobna has distributed 11,702 meals with plans to continue feeding hundreds of her neighbors per day.

Lobna has been part of Building Markets’ business network for several years and she has already demonstrated great resilience. When her restaurant faced challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, she took advantage of Building Markets’ support. “All the credit goes to Building Markets’ services, especially the mentorship program, which was a pivotal step in my business and helped me determine the right direction.” After seeing the value of mentorship, Lobna decided that she wanted to be able to provide similar support to other businesses and is now serving as a mentor to women entrepreneurs through Building Markets.

Building Markets is also helping other restaurants in its network step up to meet urgent food needs. Through partnerships with World Central Kitchen (WCK) & Türkiye’s International Restaurant Association (IRA), we have established a mobile kitchen in Reyhanli is a small town in Hatay that is historically impoverished and transient, 3 miles from the busiest land border with Syria. In the weeks since the quakes, over 50,000 Syrians have evacuated to Reyhanli, and that number is increasing every day with people coming from other regions of Hatay, Mersin, and Syria. The mobile kitchen is powered by extraordinary chefs and staff from more that 13 restaurants in our business network and is serving up to 10,000 meals a day to those affected by the earthquakes, many of whom are Syrian refugees.

Building Markets’ work in Türkiye made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

More from this author -

Latest News -