Monza against waste: the virtuous networks that recover (and distribute) leftover food

Every day in Monza, quickly perishable foodstuffs are recovered in synergy with supply chain performers, from local authorities to non-profit organizations to mass retail. The “Pane e Rose” project of the Casa del Volunteer in Monza has 30 volunteers to distribute the surplus fresh food.

A virtuous network of giving, that of the “Pane e Rose” project in Monza, capable of always generating new trust: in those who give, in those who collect, in those who distribute and in those who receive. The facts show it. In one of the food drives promoted by the network, a man handed over an entire cart of shelf-stable produce to volunteers and commented, “I was in trouble and you helped me. Now I’m back to my job and it’s the least I can do.”

“Phrases like this are our fuel – comments Beatrice Di Virgilio – for a well-established project that deals with giving concrete answers on the different fronts of the emergency due to poverty”.

The project carried out by the Casa del Volontariato via Correggio has reached its sixth year of activity and focuses in particular on poverty and food waste, with the aim of disseminating useful knowledge to understand the dimension of the phenomenon and create synergies between supply chain performers. , from local authorities to third-sector associations and large retailers.

A commitment, that of the Network, an integral part of the municipal circuit of Monza, today even more fundamental.

“This is an action of strong support for a demand that has registered a strong increase due to the pandemic that has caused new forms of poverty, especially for people and families who have never encountered economic problems before today”.

The Brothers of the Graces benefit from the Pane e Rose network, with their canteen for the poor, the Notturno nursery in via Raiberti, the San Vincenzo di San Fruttuoso, numerous communities such as the Filippina family, the Islamic center, the Protestant family, the Evangelical Church and the Orthodox Church.
Over the past year, thanks to excellent coordination with the social services sector of the Municipality of Monza, an additional 250 families have been assisted in the distribution of foodstuffs every two weeks at the collection and distribution center of through Silva 26.

A commitment against food waste, which is also very heavy, especially with regard to the fresh sector and more immediately perishable products. In this sense, the adherence of large distribution companies to “Pane e Rose”, which has gradually grown over the years, is now also fundamental in the application of very strict regulations in transport, storage and of distribution.

Coop in via Lecco in Monza and Coop in Muggiò, first adherents to the recovery of surpluses, have been joined by Coop in via Marsala, Italmarket with four outlets and two Lidl offices. “But the network is also always open to the membership of other supermarkets and businesses” launches the appeal Di Virgilio.

The network of volunteers has a strong point in the capacity for immediate distribution. Associations such as Auser Brianza, Auser Monza, Auser Lissone, the Lambro cooperative and Anteas are responsible for delivering the collected products in two hours, covering approximately 13,000 kilometers per year in the territory. There are 30 volunteers who undertake to guarantee daily transport and that products close to expiry are immediately consumed by families.

An organizational model that has been reproduced in Lissone, where the network contributed to the birth of the Dike center in the Botticelli space. To increase the food supply, as well as the surpluses of fresh products, and thus meet the ever-increasing food demand, “Pane e rose” periodically promotes food collections of long-life foods. Initiatives that also see an additional implication of inclusion and awareness.

Thanks also to the contribution of CSV Monza Lecco Sondrio, various students from the Hesemberger Institute and physically and / or cognitively disabled people from the Silvia Tremolada association participate. New collections are also planned for 2022. The efforts of such a complex organizational machine remain enormous. Resources are sought through the submission of projects to public tenders, often financed by the Lombardy Region, and the support of private companies is sought with donations also in terms of food products”. Companies respond: last year, 6,000 kilos of cheese and 4,000 boxes were donated for food distribution.


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