Food Bank: even extraordinary collections of food

Food Bank: even extraordinary collections of food

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Food Bank for over 25 years it has been dealing with the food emergency that is now more important than ever. Collects, recovers and re-distributes more than 72 thousand tons of food per year e Paolo Cattini of the Banco Alimentare Onlus Foundation he tells us how today they manage to recover 7 kg of food with only 1 euro.

1) When was Banco Alimentare born and with which mission?
Food Bank was born 25 years ago, in March, in Milan from the awareness of the founders Cav. Danilo Fossati and Don Luigi Giussani of how much food was uselessly wasted and how many poor people could have benefited from it. Today Food Bank is divided into 21 regional organizations and the mission is to recover food surpluses from industry, large retailers, wholesalers and distributors, from general markets from canteens (company, school, hospital, ...) to donate them to charitable structures throughout the territory .

2) How many volunteers are active “behind” the Food Bank today?
Volunteers, a great and indispensable resource, are 1,738, stable, and become 135,000 on the occasion of the National Food Collection Day. The buildings are committed to the Net every day Food Bank placed in warehouses, on vans, in the sorting and sorting of products, our work of recovery and redistribution of surpluses would be impossible. They are men and women, mostly over 50, who share the great purpose of Food Bank.

3) What types of products do you collect for the Food Bank? Which are the easiest and which are the most difficult to find and re-distribute?
In 2013 the Network Food Bank recovered 72,654 tons of surplus and more than 790,000 ready meals. We recover all food products that for different reasons are no longer marketable, but still good for consumption and that companies in the agri-food chain they give us. Food Bank accepts canned and long-life products (pasta, peeled, homogenized, milk for children, ...) and fresh products and ready meals, even if more difficult to recover because they require refrigerated vehicles and suitable equipment in compliance with health and hygiene regulations.

4) Can you tell us about the environmental impact of your business?
The 72,654 tons of surplus recovered from Food Bank they mean tons of food saved from the landfill: this is an environmental benefit. The recovery of perfectly edible foods prevents them from becoming waste, thus saving energy resources, with the following reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere (over 171,000 t / CO2). At the same time the activity carried out by Food Bank allows the packaging to be recycled. The experience gained over 25 years allows us to optimize resources, procedures and logistics and today with only 1 euro we can recover 7 kg of food.

5) How do you evaluate the participation of companies and individuals in the Banco Alimentare mission?
We collaborate with the major companies in the agri-food chain and we are opening new recovery channels, but the exponential increase of people in need requires us not to let our guard down and to do more. For this Food Bank we organized one "Extraordinary Food Collection" in the major Italian GDO chains on Saturday, June 14, 2014.

6) And the public administration? The institutions?
As Food Bank we carry out an incessant awareness-raising activity in bodies and institutions, European as well as national, so that the serious problem of food poverty is not ignored. We also collaborate with all non-profit organizations active in this sector.

7) As a private individual, how can I help you?
Surely with the signature to donate to Food Bank the 5xMille. It is also possible to support us, at any time, with financial donations or with the purchase of our solidarity favors, gift cards, greeting cards, panettone and doves during holidays. Participation in the extraordinary food collection, organized for June 14, is another immediate and concrete way to help Food bank to deal with the food emergency that in Italy is affecting over 4 million people, of which 400,000 are children under 5.

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Video: Poverty in The Pandemic - I volunteered at a food bank (August 2022).