Initiative to fight hunger
The Covid 19 pandemic has had a serious impact on large sections of the population. At the beginning of 2021, to make a useful contribution to mitigating the impact on the most disadvantaged groups, the Board of Directors instructed the Secretary General to carry out an extensive mapping of the needs created by the pandemic and to propose projects capable of making a difference to situations involving the highest levels of suffering and urgency to take action. The Foundation made use of all the outreach channels at its disposal and on 12 November 2021, the Board of Directors approved an initiative to support the organisations most committed to supporting people who, mainly as a result of the pandemic, were no longer able to feed themselves.
This decision was based on the observation that the pandemic has significantly increased poverty levels, adding a further wave of poverty to the already serious situation, with workers losing their jobs because of Covid. These workers, often in precarious jobs, mostly live in large urban centres, are for the most part young and in many cases have families to provide for. The nature of this new wave of poverty often makes it difficult to identify and offer help. For many of these people it is sometimes difficult for them to even admit to themselves that they are in this vulnerable position.
The initiative was based on an in-depth census carried out nationwide by the Foundation to identify those organisations working to combat the problem that were most in need of support. The involvement of UniCredit Territorial Relations was essential to draw up a precise picture of existing needs. It emerged that the organisations identified needed less support in buying food but actually needed help to adapt their supply chains for the much higher levels of demand than before the outbreak of the pandemic. In other words, what was needed was financial support for the purchase of, for example, vehicles to transport food or larger storage spaces. This very specific and, in some ways, unexpected pattern of needs was also due to the considerable generosity of the large-scale retail trade, the food industry, catering companies, company canteens and private individuals who offered a constant supply of donated food even during the most serious stages of the pandemic.
The work carried out enabled the Foundation to identify 16 organisations throughout the country, which were Damamar, Comunità di Sant'Egidio in Genoa, Banco Alimentare in Lombardy, Banco Alimentare in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Ronda della Carità in Verona, Caritas Venezia, CSV in Rovigo, Banco Alimentare in Umbria, Banco Alimentare in Emilia Romagna, Banco Alimentare in Tuscany, Banco Alimentare in Marche, Comunità di Sant'Egidio in Rome, Associazione Padre Elia Alleva in Naples, Banco Alimentare in Puglia, Banco Alimentare in Catania and Caritas Diocesiana in Palermo.
The Foundation's selection included both large organisations, working to provide food to hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis, as well as much smaller organisations, providing food on a smaller scale on a daily basis. Together, these organisations provide meals for more than 840,000 people every day, the Board of Directors decided to allocate the amount of € 2.78 million in proportion to the number of meals provided. Based on calculation estimates by the World Food Program, the total amount allocated by the Foundation to the initiative is equivalent to over 2 million meals.