Italian Food Bank - Adults Engaged in the Work

Italian Food Bank

American “Food Banks” started to be established in the late Sixties through the example of John Van Hengel, who first worked to distribute recovered food from supermarkets and restaurants in Phoenix. Today Food Banks operate worldwide: in the USA Feeding America is a national network of over 200 Food Banks; the Fédération Européenne des Banques Alimentaires (FEBA) brings together 264 Food Banks in Europe; finally, Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) promotes the creation and development of Food Banks in more than 30 countries (Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala , Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, Russia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, and Uruguay).
The Italian experience when Diego Giordani, a friend of Communion and Liberation, moved to Barcelona, was involved in the local Food Bank, and decided to discuss about it with Giorgio Vittadini, President of Compagnia delle Opere, who involved Marco Lucchini and Mario Brambilla. In 1989 the Fondazione Banco Alimentare (Food Bank Foundation) was established in Milan.
But it was only after a meeting between Cav. Danilo Fossati, founder of Star company, and Fr. Luigi Giussani that the experience of Banco Alimentare (Food Bank) became more mature and started to involve many other friends all over Italy.

Today the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus (Food Bank Foundation Onlus) drives and coordinates the Food Bank Network made of 21 Associazioni Banco Alimentare (Food Bank Associations) located in: Abruzzi, Calabria, Campania, Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Piedmont – Alessandria, Puglia, Puglia – Foggia (Daunia), Sardinia, Sicily, Sicily – Palermo, Tuscany, and Trentino Alto Adige.
The Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus is affiliated with Compagnia delle Opere – Opere Sociali and is a member of the Fédération Européenne des Banques Alimentaires (FEBA), which represents 22 countries. Since 2003 has collaborated for the development of Food Banks in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

The mission of Banco Alimentare consists in the recovery of surplus food (safe edible food that cannot be put on the market for different reasons and would be destined to destruction) coming from the European Union (through AGEA), agriculture, food companies, retail and collective catering (Siticibo programme). This food is distributed for free to affiliated charitable organizations that operate in Italy helping and assisting poor and marginalized people.

The most visible gesture of charity in our country is the Giornata Nazionale della Colletta Alimentare (GNCA, National Food Collection Day), when thousands of volunteers in supermarkets throughout Italy propose to customers to do a shopping for people in need. In the first edition of 1997 1,600 tons of food products were collected; over the last year almost 10,000 tons of food products have been collected thanks to the commitment of more than 135.000 volunteers for the whole day.
The GNCA takes place on the last Saturday of November, together with the Food Banks belonging to the Fédération Européenne des Banques Alimentaires.
The Associazione Nazionale Alpini, the Società di San Vincenzo de Paoli, the Compagnia delle Opere – Opere Sociali and the Italian Army collaborate to the GNCA, together with many associations that benefit from the daily activity of Banco Alimentare.
For years many members of the movement of Communion and Liberation are actively involved in this educational gesture to charity.

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