The Municipality of Milan has put in place some specific food aid actions to provide assistance to the elderly and vulnerable people. With the lockdown in force, non-profit associations active in the distribution of food aid . Many volunteers are in fact over-65s or belong to the categories at risk of infection.
The Municipality of Milan through the synergies between the Social Policies Department, Food Policy and Civil Protection, the public companies Milano Ristorazione and AMAT, Sogemi, Banco Alimentare della Lombardia, Caritas Ambrosiana, Cariplo Foundation, Programma QuBì, and IBVA have developed the “Dispositivo aiuto alimentare – Food Aid System” which aims at compensating for the closures of associations and charities active in Milan by centralizing the entire supply chain. The System is responsible for the distribution of weekly food aid until the end of the Covid-19 emergency. To avoid infection, a safety protocol based on the sanitation of the infrastructure used and the use of PPE for all the operators involved has been developed.
10 temporary hubs in the city
As part of the actions put in place by the System, 7 temporary hubs have been initially installed – now they are 10 – dedicated to the preparation of food aid packages intended to the elderly and fragile people have been opened. Recipients have been identified by the Milan’s Social Services, and non-profit operators.
The service provides that the foodstuffs stored at the logistics center of the Banco Alimentare della Lombardia in Muggiò and at the Italian Red Cross – logistic center in Segrate, are redistributed during the week to the 10 local hubs in Milan, where the staff – composed by employees of the Municipality and volunteers of the associations – prepares food aid for selected people and families.
Over 150 people have been involved in the project, including city employees, operators, volunteers and staff of transport companies for deliveries.
Here below are the documents explaining in detail the initiative and the operating mode.
With this action we have reached almost 16.000 people and more than 4900 families in need and with almost 60 tons of food distributed per week.
Fresh vegetables and fruits Hub
As part of the system, the Municipality with the help of Sogemi – Ortomercato Milano – opened a specific hub where fruits and vegetables are collected and redistributed to the food hubs and the fresh food is added to the food aid packages.
This action has improved the quality of the food aid.
All food that come from Ortomercato hub is donated by retailers and wholesalers of AGO, ACMO and the producers consortium.
Any food company interested in making long-life dry food donations can send an email to MilanoAiuta@comune.milano.it, indicating the subject “7 Hub Food Support”.
The System distributes basic foodstuffs such as pasta, rice, tomato sauce, legumes, tuna, biscuits but also oil, salt, sugar and extra products recovered through donations (milk, fruit juices, coffee, puddings, cold cuts).
Crowdfunding campaign to support the food hub
Fondazione di Comunità Milano, together with the Municipality of Milan and some partners of the action, has opened a crowdfunding action in order to support the activities of the hub and the purchase of food that will be donated.
If you want to donate – click here: www.milanopermilano.it/dona
All operations of the “Food Aid System” have been developed while maintaining the highest level of safety for the operators and beneficiaries.
The staff training took place outdoors at the Palazzo Marino’s courtyard maintaining distances between participants of more than 1.5 meters and operating a timed entry system.
All the supply chain infrastructures (Logistic Center of the Banco Alimentare della Lombardia and the 7 Hubs) are cleaned daily and sanitized every week. Likewise, the 4 vehicles delivering food aids to the hubs are cleaned daily and sanitized every week. Finally, the 25 minibuses for final delivery are sanitized every end-of-day.
All staff are equipped with individual PPE, namely FFP2 masks and disposable gloves.
Each hub is equipped with sanitizing gel and infrared thermometer to monitor the temperature of the staff.
The Municipality of Milan has developed a protocol defining common safety rules that can be downloaded here.
Infrastructure serving the emergency
The Hubs represent a light infrastructure for the distribution of other materials as well. In the second week, a kit of FFP2 equivalent masks and sanitizing gel was distributed for general practitioners and paediatricians operating in Milan.