In July 2014, the Milan municipal administration and Fondazione Cariplo signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment and adoption of a Food Policy for the city of Milan. Following a public consultation, the Milan City Council passed a Resolution setting out the following 5 priority goals for the city’s Food Policy:
- Securing access to healthy food
- Fostering sustainable food production
- Promoting food education
- Fighting against food waste
- Supporting food research
By signing the MoU, the Milan municipal administration and Fondazione Cariplo jointly pledged to encourage, facilitate and support all kinds of organizational, social and technology innovations aligned with the Food Policy principles and contributing to the attainment of the Food Policy goals.
Among the various activities, actions and projects undertaken under the Milan Food Policy initiative, Food Aid is not just the most recent, but also the one that best exemplifies the complexities and synergies involved in these types of efforts.
As the Covid-19 emergency forced many third-sector organizations to temporarily halt their activities, the Milan municipal administration put in place several programs to assist and deliver food to the elderly and other vulnerable people who could not leave their homes. Designed to provide food assistance in the acute stage of the emergency and kick started on March 16, 2020, the 15-week Food Aid was precisely one of those programs. It was made possible through a collaboration involving the Municipal Administration’s Housing and Social policies Directorate, the Food Policy Office, the local Civil Protection service, the municipal agency AMAT, the municipal government-owned companies Milano Ristorazione, Sogemi and ATM, Lombardy’s Food Bank, Milan Caritas, the local charity IBVA, the Milan branch of the Italian Red Cross, Fondazione Cariplo and QuBì, a program fighting against child poverty. The Food Aid program entailed centralized management of the whole process and direct responsibility for the distribution of weekly food boxes prepared at ten temporary hubs that were opened for this task. Thanks to Food Aid, from mid-March through the end of June 2020, over 6,000 vulnerable families (20,000 people) in Milan, reached also with the help of QuBi, could put food on their tables.
Bearing testament to the food policy expertise we have gained over the years is our successful application under the Horizon 2020-FNR-2020-1 call and the subsequent award of a €12 million grant to FOOD TRAILS, a project coordinated by the Milan Municipal Administration in which Fondazione Cariplo participates through its subsidiary Cariplo Factory S.r.l.