Food Super league, a community action work by Gastromotiva in Brasil

Through a playful approach, children and their caretakers learn basic habits and skills that will lead to a healthier diet and wellbeing

Photo of Charlotte Schaus
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name


Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Established (the solution has passed the previous stages and demonstrated success)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • More than 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water
  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Brazil

Headquarters location: City

Rio de Janeiro

Location(s) of impact

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Curitiba Mexico: Mexico city El Salvador: El Salvador South Africa: Cape town


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Twitter URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

In Brazil the majority of children in poor communities are malnourished: above 48% of children aged 5-9 are overweight and over 60.000 children under the age of 1 year are battling malnutrition. The main problem is no longer general access to food, but the lack of knowledge of poorer community members, especially parents on how to process and cook fresh food, create healthy food mixes in the plates, choose the right ingredients, use the whole ingredient, decrease the consumption of highly processed and sugary food items

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Gastromotiva (GM) trains underprivileged young adults to become kitchen assistants. We empower them not only to find their first employment, but also to learn, and then educate their families and communities to eat balanced and healthy diets. In that context our students conduct a project called Food Super League (FSL). Using the image of superheroes, FSL educates children, parents and public school staff on how to process and cook with fresh ingredients while having fun. The superhero concept is translated through the whole activity, from the food to the language used. It's offered at public schools or community centers. The recipes our students develop are created considering the limited budget of the communities and using the whole ingredient (Skin, stalks etc). These foods are strongly necessary to the good development of the children strength and intellect. Recipe example: "The Wonder Woman cake"-a sugarless cake, made with beet pulp and peel.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

FSL improves nutritional habits toward prosperity, reaching two main groups: Families of students: During our course many of our students are shocked learning that they are obese, have allergies or hypertension linked to what they consume. Thanks to GM, they start changing their food habits at home. GM has graduated more than 4000 students since 2006, indirectly impacting 4000 families and countless family members. Schools (children, teachers, parents, school kitchen staff etc): every GM student is nowadays required to do a FSL. On average each student has an impact on 50 members of their community per workshop day. Since the creation of the FSL in 2014 GM more than 175 000 underprivileged community members in around 500 schools were reached. Our students also learn about food waste reduction and waste separation. Considering the lack of knowledge in this area small actions can bring large results. All our students become multipliers within their families and their communities.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Now: FSL is not-for-profit. Currently, the initiative is mainly funded by corporations. Our main partners are the Carrefour foundation, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Coca-Cola Brasil and Cargill. Cost structure: Each of the 6 cities has 4 classes of 50 students per year, each class costs US$ 40.000, Price per student: US$ 800 for 220h of classes to become a kitchen assistant, within the course, FSL takes 44h and is supported by the corporate sponsors.. Over the next 5 years: GM is already offering a range of consulting services, in 2018 we will add FSL to those services. (the demand is already existing). Long Term goal: Super League approach to be in the curriculum of public schools, partially funded by the government.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Our solution is top down (educating caretakers on preparing better food) & bottom up (teach kids about food making them demand healthy food). The innovation lies in the peer to peer methodology, the message comes from someone of the community, understanding its reality. Instead of running our own center (ex: we go to existing places. The problems we address are complex, our approach is simple and adequate. Having earned the community trust over years, we realised the need to act now

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

In 2006, when Gastromotiva was born, our founder, chef David Hertz, was working alongside our first student, a woman that came from a favela named Urideia. They started Gastromotiva with the aim to train kitchen assistants from underprivileged backgrounds, preparing them to enter the job market, offering restaurants qualified employees. David and Urideia also wanted to educate students in the way they related to food. They realised that the student’s food habits needed strong transformation. And then one day - when Urideia got pregnant without realising it - David became conscious that Gastromotiva had a larger mission, the change had to happen not only in the students, but also within in the environments they grew up in. GM realised that the students could become multipliers and influence their own communities, that's when our Food Super League was born in 2014.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others

Program Design Clarity: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details

What: We offer workshops around food and nutrition education called Food Super League. FSL brings creative and healthy food for children and their related adults to the table.The target audience consists of children from 2 yo on and their parents or caregivers. We also cover the school kitchen staff, teachers and those responsible for the institutions where the workshops take place to ensure that the learning process has a continuation in their homes and schools. Where: In existing public schools in underprivileged communities such as favelas or in violent neighbourhoods. When: Every 3 months in each city of the 6 cities that we are present in. How long: A full day, but is expected to be continued through new habits and learning’s after. Who: Our students deliver FSL with the help of GM cooks, partners and volunteers. Each class of GM has 50 students, they are divided into 10 groups to reach 10 different schools. Each workshop impacts 250 people, so 50 people per student. How: Gastromotiva developed a 5 steps program to easily implement the FSL activities. GM trains the trainers (GM Students) on nutrition, communication and on how to lead a workshop. The superhero concept runs through the whole activity as the main red thread, from the food, costumes, to the language used. At the same time we teach the caretakers on how to reproduce our actions at home. Although we have clear guidelines for the workshops, each of them is unique.

Focus area

  • Nutrition

We are interested in learning more about your initiative's broad impact on sustainable development. Please reply ONLY to the question(s) related to your above focus area.

Gastromotiva aims to drive and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals with concrete actions to create a healthy, empowered and equitable world by 2030, leaving no one behind. Our nutritionist choose to use the principles and guideline of nutritional behaviour defined by the Brazilian government. The idea is not to impose a diet, but to educate how and why to eat a balanced diet. With the right knowledge and information, provided in the right way caretakers can make better choices towards the wellbeing of their families. Small habit changes can lead to big results. We observed that the best way to reach communities was to empower someone from inside to become a multiplier and to conduct local initiatives. We bring the following new approaches to the table for the FSL: 1-Showing the nutritional value of each ingredient 2-Influencing children's food education to reduce obesity, getting them to try different fresh ingredients in a playful environment 3-Bringing simple but meaningful examples and informations to parents about the consequences of a bad nutrition and its long term effects on the family using a language that resonates 4-Promoting understanding of the benefits and harms of using natural versus processed food 5-Incentivising children and caretakers to cook diverse food, alternating the ingredients and thinking about what goes into their bodies 6-Teaching how to combine ingredients, for ex. the basic percentage of carbs, proteins and lipid in a meal.

Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

Multi-stakeholder approach: -CSR departments (ex: Hyatt, Cargill): they become part of the FSL, having their teams volunteering during the workshops and in the evaluation of the projects -Foundations (ex: Carrefour, Van Leer): they co-create parts of the project with us, for example the Van Leer foundation helped us to review and improve our FSL methodology focusing on new content, preparing it towards scalability -Universities (ex: Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, the Basque Culinary Center) help us to influence future leaders offering them case studies and internships. We include them in our system change vision. -Chefs (ex: Massimo Bottura, Alex Atala) inspiring them and show them how they can use their voice to change the food system -Global organisations (ex: FAO, WFP, IADB) driving innovation together. For example the WFP is our main partner for our courses in El Salvador. They chose GM as a partner because of the added value of the Super League approach included in the course

How is your initiative funded, now and over the next 5 years?

Now: FSL is not-for-profit. Currently, the initiative is mainly funded by corporations. Our main partners are the Carrefour foundation, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Coca-Cola Brasil and Cargill. Cost structure: Each of the 6 cities has 4 classes of 50 students per year, each class costs US$ 40.000, Price per student: US$ 800 for 220h of classes to become a kitchen assistant, within the course, FSL takes 44h, so it costs US$160 per student. Over the next 5 years: GM is already offering a range of consulting services, in 2018 we will add FSL to those services. (the demand is already existing). Long Term goal: Super League approach to be in the curriculum of public schools, partially funded by the government.

How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the CSV Prize?

Our work has given us credibility in the international chefs community. We have inspires chefs our network to start their own projects in their respective country. We would like to continue doing so with a focus on the FSL. The voice of the chefs is very strong at the moment, we are using this momentum to spread our influence and reach a higher impact. Many companies and governments have tried to tackle the problem of malnutrition in poor communities already, but have not advanced much, as often the language was to technical and not adequate, or because there was no established community trust. We can enhance existing programs such as the Nestlé Healthy Kids Programme, trough our community access, trust and experience.

How will you leverage an investment from Nestle to expand the impact of your work?

-We will train other trainers (on top of the GM students, volunteers, chefs or teachers for ex) to bring the methodology to a wider range of communities -We will make the best use of technology to reach a broader audience and create virtual platforms and games for educators to replicate our tested methodology -We will use the investment to test some innovative ideas to diversify our workshops -We will hire a team of nutritionists and educators that will focus on improving and the methodology and the evaluation of the impact -GM is also building a program to work as a consultant for other stakeholders for them to integrate Super League to their existing or new projects.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact? What’s the projected impact for the coming years? Are you planning to expand your programme into new locations? On what assumptions do you build your scale-up plans?

Objectives: -Scale impact in the cities in which we are already present. For each 1000 applicants we accept 50 students, we would like to double that number until 2020, by closing more partnerships. -Opening new destinations, operated by partners and licensed by GM, Argentina and Colombia are confirmed for 2018 -Super League initiative is available all over Brazil, that even the most remote areas, such as the Amazonas for example. We are developing online tools to do so. If this new strategy shows positive results in Brazil, we will translate adapt the online platform and launch it internationally -Every school could be using the FSL methodology, it can become part of the public schools curriculum Assumptions: - FSL has the potential to become a norm in the public school system (public schools are already changing their diets, in Brazil 30% of the food served in a public school has to be organic) -Raising interest of the people living in the communities towards nutrition

Team: What is the current composition of your team (types of roles, number of full-time vs. part-time staff, board members, etc.)? How will this team evolve as your initiative grows?

The current team of GM is composed of 25 persons. Part of them are locally based and the support team is at our HQ in Rio. The FSL initiatives are led by our different course coordinators. The leadership of the team is held by two complementary personalities, David Hertz and Nicola Gryczka. David, founder of GM, is a chef and social entrepreneur as well as an Ashoka fellow, Young Global Leader and Ted fellow. Nicola, CEO of GM, worked in prestigious companies such as the WEF and Times magazine, and now drives the growth and management of the organisation. We benefit from pro-bono consulting from companies such as McKinsey, ThoughtWorks, DSM and Manpower. We'll assemble a special team focused on FSL. A project manager, nutritionists and a digital coordinator.

Awards: What awards or honors has the initiative received?

In 2015, Gastromotiva’s FSL won a national award for Fighting Child Obesity, by the Brazils largest insurance company, out of 64 different initiatives. GM as an organisation overall has received many awards and prices over the years, please see attachment.

Organizational leadership: How are you influencing your field of work in the present?

For the last few years we expanded our mission and built projects towards food education, fighting food waste and influencing chefs to become more socially driven. This is what we call Social Gastronomy (SG). Within the last years, GM has become an advocate in the subject of SG. After having participated in the Ashoka Globaliser process, one of our main outcome is to create the SG Movement in order to make SG a norm in the hospitality industry. One of the goals of the Movement is to create toolboxes for anyone to become a changemaker in their own country. FSL will have its own tool-box for people to apply our methodology all over the world.

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend the Ashoka Impact Boot camp and Creating Shared Value Prize Live Pitch Event at the World Water Forum 13-16 March 2018

  • Yes, I am available to attend the events on 13-16 March 2018


Join the conversation:

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi Charlotte, this idea is fascinating! A cooking school that asks their students to teach their community about using their available resources for a nutritious diet! It addresses the skill gap along with increasing public awareness on nutrition. Fantastic, truly. Just a few quick questions: First, how do you go about researching how to apply this program to different countries? I see your active in Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico, and South Africa. Secondly, do you perform any final evaluations to test your beneficiary estimates? Let me know! Great work, truly! And an excellent application, as well!

Photo of Charlotte Schaus

Hi Marco, thank you for your kind feedback. We apply this program in different countries trough local partnerships and do perform final evaluations. We could tell you more about the processes on a call if you wish. Best, Charlotte

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