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Feed the Culture is a civic platform born in May 2020 amid the Covid-19 crisis. At the time, a group of professionals from the cultural industry (artists, event organisers, employees of professional federations…) are making the same observation: There’s no real regular, free and unconditional support for the cultural and event sector in the Brussels region during the pandemic.

 

We are running towards disaster: workers in great danger of precarity.

Action is necessary but in which area?

Without any background on social action, food seemed easier to get and to handle. Within 3 weeks, the first distribution is being set up. Feed the Culture is born.

 

In October 2020, Feed the Culture becomes an official non-profit made up of 3 administrators, all of whom are working in the cultural industry.

 

We are being helped daily by volunteers (photographers, directors, singers, painters, cinema students…) who incarnate the vital energy of our action. Without them there wouldn’t be weekly distributions.

 

Our association has been created by professionnals of the Cultural & Creative Industries for other professionals in the same field.

Our action is clearly political. We are making the invisible visible: They are our colleagues, partners and friends.

 

FTC has had 3 locations, each time on the mode of temporary occupation:

  • At SEE U, main hangar from May to July 2020 (Ixelles)

  • At SEE U, building F from July 2020 to April 2021 (Ixelles)

  • At Chassart, from April 2021 up to November 2022 (Forest)

 

FTC claims its independance : we are not linked to a political party nor any professional federation or union. On the other hand,  we benefit from financial support through private donations and subsidies (see our partner list) and we also receive food from other associations involved in food parcel distribution.

 

We will carry on with this work as long as necessary, even beyond the Covid crisis.

In November 2022, Feed the culture adds a new service in addition to its food distribution: a mental health program on 2022 and 2023. events. This program is only available in french for the moment.

 
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Feed the Culture sets up food parcel distribution for workers of the creative, cultural  and event industries in Brussels.

 

Each Saturday a social grocery store is put in place. It is composed of 98% of unsold food. Meat, bread, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegies, rice, cakes… are collected, saved from the trashed, sorted and redistributed.

 

How does it work ?

 Workers of the CCI can enlist at each start of the week using the online form where they’re asked to fulfill information about their profile, email and number of people in their household.

Each Wednesday or Thursday, Feed the Culture sends an email notifying if you can or not attend next Saturday’s distribution. If the response is positive, information about precise timings along with other practical modalities are communicated.

The beneficiary is welcomed to our premises on Saturday at the dedicated time where he/she will get to run his/her errance trough a  specific course. Volunteers will also be present to help out and advise products.

 

Do I need to pay ?

No, the distribution is completely free.

 

Do you offer food packages ?

 No, Feed the Culture is a social grocery store. We do not make food packages, nor do we impose any food. Each week we set up a real supermarket with different aisles where all products are visible. We try to make it as appealing, diverse, fresh and unprocessed as possible with organic and vegan products when available. Each volunteer is responsible for a shelf during distribution and offers various products to the beneficiary who can of course take it or not.

 

Do I need to take part in the cultural/event industry to attend distributions?

 Yes, absolutely. Our distributions are only addressed to those working in thoses industries. It’s a standardized naming which include the following sectors:

  • Scenic arts

  • Fashion and design

  • Graphic and visual arts

  • Books and edition

  • Patrimony and architecture

  • Arts & Crafts

  • Audio-visual

  • Archives

  • Events

People with amateur artistic practices are not eligible.

 

Where do you find the unsold food?

Our food comes from differents sources: partner supermarkets, other associations involved in unsold food redistribution, restaurants, individuals, producers… There’s a need for a large chain of people to insure enough food on display each Saturday.

 

What do you do with what’s left?

 Anything that can be preserved for the following week is being stored (dry products, cans, hygene products, sauces, oils…) and another part is being frozen (meat, bread…). Everything that cannot be stored nor frozen is given to other organizations and civic actions who help the migrants, families in need, precarious people… Nothing is thrown away.

 

What are your demands for tomorrow ?

 In the future we wish to continue our action. We would like first to add more hygiene and beauty products as well as maintenance products for the household. Secondly we’d like to hire a paid employee on a yearly basis to insure overall coordination of the project. Thirdly we would like to settle in our spaces for good. For all of these we are ever in need of more donations and subsidies.

 

Are you thinking of opening up distributions to a wider audience?

 No, it isn’t our mission. As the name Feed the Culture indicates, we are only focused on that specific audience. We are the only such form of distribution in Belgium. Our sector has been hit hard by the pandemic and is a precarious one by nature. It was so before the pandemic and it only seems to get worse. That is why it so important for us to support it.

Suscribe for our social grocery store

How ?

To attend our food distribution you must:

  • Subscribe trough the online form

  • Receive your confirmation email in the next days containing your schedule and all other practical information.

 

When does the distribution take place ?

Each Saturday between 12am and 13:30pm in our spaces: Avenue Van Volxem 400, 1190 Forest.

Why is my subscription not working ?

If you haven’t received a confirmation email despite attempting to subscribe, reach out to us at feedtheculture@bruxxel.org

 

Do I need to register every week?

Yes, absolutely. It is not possible to book for multiple weeks in a row. Each Monday or Tuesday  you need to register through the online form and wait for the confirmation email with all the information.

 

I’m a vegan, flexitarian, vegetarian, allergic to gluten… Is it a problem ?

Not at all. We are trying to offer a large panel of food which is suited for all. If we do not always have specific products for particular regimes at a given time we try and compensate by offering more products we do have in larger quantities.

 

The rules of registration

  • Showing up for the first distribution without being registered is not possible.

  • Since january 2022, we ask you to come with a paper proof where you can prove you are a cultural worker:

    • for students: student card or academic certificate in the cultural sector​

    • for workers with artist status: artist card or a proof

    • for the other workers: last contract or remunerated contrat in the cultural sector

You will receive a Feed the culture card that you have to bring with you at each distribution​.

  • Only one person per household allowed.

  • No switching places for distributions. It's not possible to give your FTC card to someone else.

  • In case of absence, it is possible to fill in for another person by noticing the front desk.

  • In case of absence, always send notice in advance either trough email or facebook (before friday at 12:00)

 

The rules of distribution

  • Bring your Feed the culture card with you.

  • Have your confirmation email with you

  • Carry your own bag/shopping cart

  • Come with 1 person maximum (even if registered for multiple portions)

  • Be there on time

  • No stroller inside the premises, leave them at the entrance.

  • Minors are allowed only under the supervision of an adult.

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Feed the culture asbl and Cedric Jamar, psychotherapist since 2015, have joined forces to offer a mental health program for Cultural, Creative and Event Industries in the Brussels region.

This new project is in addition to that of the food distribution program for this same public.

It is part of a desire to provide tools and support to this sector in particular.

The mental health-culture program was made possible thanks to the federal "first line psychologist" budget which runs from November 2022 to December 2023.

It offers two types of meetings:

  • Group sessions: 8 participants maximum and 2 supervisors

  • Individual sessions: 1 participant and 1 psy.

Our approach is both global, welcoming everything from cultural workers and specific because it is a question of dealing with issues that are specific to them.

Our cardinal values: benevolence, non-judgment and professional secrecy.

 

USEFUL INFORMATION

Who can register for this program ?

The same audience as Feed The Culture food distributions.

People from the following sectors of activity:

  • Performing Arts

  • Graphic and visual arts

  • fashion and design

  • Architecture and heritage

  • Book & publishing

  • Audio-visual

  • Media

  • Crafts

  • Events.

And this for all statuses: student, employee, unemployed, self-employed, artist with or without status, retired,...

 

Operation

Each worker has 3 options:

  1. only do group sessions

OR

  1. only do individual sessions

OR

  1. combine group session(s) and individual session(s) (under certain conditions.)

 

If you choose:

  • to do group sessions:you agree to come to 5 sessions in a row once a week for 2 hours per session. It will be possible to add more group sessions in consultation with the supervising psychologists.

  • to do individual sessions:the number of sessions will be determined with your shrink according to your common schedules.

All group sessions are held in French (English is possible in individual sessions).

Pre-registration is mandatory, you must:

  • complete the registration form below

  • AND send proof of access to the mental health program which proves that you are indeed a student or worker of ICC and events by email tofeedtheculture@bruxxel.org

 

Which supporting document(s) should I send by email?

2 proofs must be sent

Proof that must demonstrate that you are a cultural and/or event professional.

  • for students:student card or certificate of their registration in a school of art, artistic studies, cultural management... Student cards can be dated June 2020 because we know the difficulties of finding a job when leaving school with the health crisis.

  • for people with artist status:proof of this status, artist card/visa, etc.

  • for the others :last contract or invoice and/or any proof of paid work in your field of action.


This proof must be dated between January 2020 and today, regardless of your status.

proof that you have BIM status (Bénéficiaire d'Intervention Majorée) - Ask for a certificate from your health mutual.

 

The price

The sessions are chargeable:

  • 3€ per group session

  • 11€ per individual session for non BIM and 3€ for BIM (Bénéficiaire d'Intervention Majorée.)

Before each session, the participant makes a bank transfer to the account of Feed The Culture ASBL

FEED THE CULTURE ASBL

RUE LEBEAU 39 1000 BRUSSELS

IBAN BE26 3632 1341 8329

BIC (SWIFT) BBRUBEBB

 

Only bank transfers are accepted. Cash is not accepted.

 

Conditions

The rule imposed on us by the Federal is to have a minimum of 4 participants per group session for the session to take place and for the two supervisors to be paid. If there are not 4 participants, the session is cancelled.

 

For all session types:

  • If you are registered for a session and you do not come. You must notify by email within 48 hours (feedtheculture@bruxxel.org) in advance and you won't have to pay for your session.

  • If you warn within 48 hours of the session then the session is due (except in cases of emergencies.)

  • If you stop in the middle of the program, your last session is due.

Who will be in my group?

If you choose to do group sessions, you will always be in the same group, with the same participants and the same supervisors. 

We will try to make homogeneous groups with various sectors of activity and statutes.

 

Who are the shrinks who are part of the program?

Cedric Jamar: clinician oriented by psychoanalysis, he has a face-to-face therapeutic practice at his office. Trained in several specific themes, including the processes of marital domination and the consumption of psychotropic drugs.

 

What will be reported about me to the State (personal information or what I may have said during sessions)?

We insist on this: apart from the national register number: nothing will be transmitted to anyone - moreover it is prohibited by the psychologist code of ethics. If there was any transmission of information, it would only be with the express written authorization of the patient.

 

I would like to meet the shrinks and have the program explained to me in person

Free one-hour information sessions are organized on:

 

- Friday, November 11, 2022 from 7:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. at our location : avenue van Volxem, 400 in Forest

 

After FTC move:

new location of Feed the culture at Rue du Brabant, 27 – Passage Rogier in Saint Josse:

  • Thursday January 12, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Friday March 17, 2023 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Thursday, May 11, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Thursday, September 7, 2023 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

 

The sessions are free, without obligation and in French.

It is not necessary to register to participate.

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Feed the Culture only works through volunteer work. We need volunteers every week.

 

We are mainly looking for 2 profiles:

 

  • Volunteers with a vehicle: A car with folding seats to insure food pickup in the Brussels region on a regular or on and off basis (some pickups in Wallonia may occur).

  • Volunteers without a vehicle: To prepare and organize the food distribution on Saturdays in our spaces in Forest. The complete schedule of distribution spans from 9am to 5pm. 3 hour shifts are also possible.

 

We are looking for resourceful people,  in good physical condition, smiling and who enjoy team and manual work. We are obviously looking for people willing to commit on the longer term rather than one timers.

 

We do not welcome team buildings at Feed the Culture. Our distributions are not a way for people or companies to do social-washing.

 

If interested or in need of more infos: feedtheculture@bruxxel.org

 
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Feed the Culture needs financial support.

What for ?

  • To pay or 2 student contracts (administration/communication and operational coordination)

  • Pay the rent of our space

  • Pay for the trash pick-up of Bruxelles-propreté

  • Pay for products necessary for distribution: cleaning products, bags, trash bags…

  • Pay for the rent of the minivan

  • Pay back volunteer’s gas

  • Buy basic products such as pasta, rice, lentils, semolina, milk, eggs, cereals, drinks… which we almost never collect from unsold food.

  • Buy, when necessary, a new fridge, freezer, storing cabinet…

 

Make a donation on the organization’s account*:

Feed the culture asbl

ING Bank
BE26 3632 1341 8329
BBRUBEBB

 

*Not tax deductible

 
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" Feed the Culture, où la crise se matérialise dans les ventres vides"

"Une épicerie solidaire créée pour les travailleurs de la culture et de l’événementiel en détresse."

"Une banque alimentaire vient en aide aux travailleurs de l'événementiel et de la culture."

 
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We, the artists, cultural operators, workers of the arts and culture, simple citizens have been the witness of the worsening precarity of our colleagues over the course of the past months. Before this crisis, we were already stuck on DIY mode to exercice our work and try and lead a decent life. Things have only gotten worse since.

This situation is unbearable.

We have decided to act and try to organize some kind of solidarity to help people working in that industry. We are also sending a strong signal to this country’s authorities: The culture is well and trully there, alive but ill, and those who keep it standing demand help, consideration, respect and some attention.

Why only help us when the whole society is being hit by this earthquake? We have no intention of taking part in the division of an already growingly split society. But we do believe that if each sector organizes itself on its own level (ours is already immense), initiatives will multiply, take inspiration from one another and spread even more.

 

 We are workers of culture living and working in Brussels. We are not linked to any political party, we are not singing anyone’s gospel, we are just driven by the desire to support our colleagues and partners is these difficult times.

 

Culture is an essential part of our society and daily lives.

We are making sure and will make sure that it stays that way.

 

Feed the culture Brussels

Mai 2020

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To:

  • Offer unsold food (fresh, frozen, dried) and essential hygene products

 

  • Offer food (fresh, frozen, dried)

 

  • Ask for an interview

Mail : feedtheculture@bruxxel.org

  • Facebook

Feed the culture Team :

Pauline, coordinator

Lucas, coordinator assistant

Laurie, administration and communication assistant

 

And all our volunteers ; Thierry, Morgane, Gisèle, Mapaule, Marion, Jimmy, Robson, Nathalie, Arthur, Jamila, David, Miguel, Morgane, Gisèle, Vincent, Loona and so many others.

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