In partnership with: Comunità di Sant’Egidio
The world produces enough food to feed everyone, but many people don’t have enough money to purchase it. Food insecurity has become a reality for more than 4.8 million hard-hit Italians – a rise of 120% over 5 years.
FAO recently raised Italy’s food insecurity risk from low to medium, in reflection of the 4.8 million people, including 400,000 children below age 5, forced to rely on food aid. Hard-hit by the recession, Italians have cut their food expenditure by 10% and supermarkets have seen food theft increase by 7.8%.
Beating hunger entails more than guaranteeing adequate access to food though. To eliminate malnutrition, we need to integrate food distribution with adequate care for children, women and the elderly. That way, we can stop the poor and hungry from falling into even greater poverty when lack of food lowers energy levels and increases the likelihood of ill health, ultimately reducing their ability to work.
Poverty begets poverty and it’s time to break that cycle. Starting from a healthy meal.
With more people in local communities falling into poverty and going hungry and the national welfare system ill-equipped to offer the necessary support, we believe we can help fill that gap. Drawing on Costa’s network of stakeholders, suppliers, public authorities and partners on the ground, including other nonprofit groups and charities, the Foundation is well-placed to fulfill its initial aim: to get food to corners of Genoa that would otherwise be overlooked.
We work with the Sant’Egidio Community in Genoa to provide daily food assistance to around 450 people who either pick up food from the distribution centers or receive it on the streets from Sant’Egidio volunteers. Demand for food, medicines, clothes and shelter has surged to such a level that Sant’Egidio now runs two distribution centers.
The key to our program is that we bring more than just food and finance to a project like this. Drawing on the purchasing power of Costa, we source essential items at a reduced cost from suppliers or directly from ships. The potential reach of Costa’s media contacts and stakeholder influence is harnessed to raise awareness of the problem and reverse the paradoxical waste of food in Italy every year.
By pooling resources, providing food and changing perceptions, our program can make lives better.