From 27 to 29 October 2021, FEBA and Food Bank representatives from Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, and Slovenia gathered in Milan for a three-days skill sharing session organised by the European Food Banks Federation in collaboration with Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus (FBAO). Under the umbrella title “City food recovery vs food poverty”, the focus of the meeting laid on the recovery and redistribution of food from the distribution and catering sectors.
On the first day, among the activities were a visit of Associazione Banco Alimentare Trentino Alto Adige ONLUS, combined with the discovery of the management system of BringTheFood in Trento, and a visit of Associazione Banco Alimentare della Lombardia “Danilo Fossati” ONLUS (ABAL), where a guided tour through the warehouse was followed by a series of presentations held by the Food Bank representatives. This exchange of experiences allowed for the identification of common challenges and opportunities.
The second day was themed around the idea of learning by watching: Participants had the opportunity to witness first-hand the recovery of fresh food and cooked meals by following the itinerary of refrigerated FBAO vans through Milan, picking up the food from company canteens and supermarkets. A visit to one of the City of Milan’s Food Waste Hub further gave them the chance to learn about the process of managing and redistributing foodstuff in an urban context. As a winner of the 2021 Earthshot Prize issued by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the City of Milan’s Food Waste Hubs were recently honoured as one of the best initiatives fostering a waste-free world. ABAL belongs to the team of stakeholders operating the hubs and thereby does not just actively contribute to the cushioning of the climate crisis but also supports large numbers of people in need.
Finally, the activities of the third day entailed a recap of impressions and lessons learnt, as well as a visit to the logistic platform of FBAO in Parma.
In a nutshell, the skill-sharing session not just offered the participants an environment to discuss previous experiences and Food Bank-specific projects, but also provided them with ideas and concrete inputs on what is possible regarding the recovery and redistribution of fresh and prepared food and the necessary requirements.