A new project aimed at fighting childhood hunger in Italy began Saturday. Costa Cruises and the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus (FBAO) have partnered to provide surplus prepared food from cruise ships to organizations that provide food assistance to children and others.
The partnership is possible because of Italian Law 166/2016, which was sponsored by the Hon. Maria Chiara Gadda.
“This ambitious project is sending out an important message: retrieving surpluses even in the most complex situations is not just a pipe dream, but it is genuinely achievable if everyone takes on their share of responsibility, " said Gadda.
Costa Cruises and the FBAO worked together for eight months to work out the logistics of the project.
“We are very happy to know that this food will not be wasted but will be given to an organisation that provides assistance to children,” said Andrea Giussani, President of the FBAO. She added that child poverty in Italy “has risen from 3.9% in 2005 to 12.5% in 2016.”
The Costa Diadema makes one-week trips in the Mediterranean on an annual basis. Every Friday before arriving in Savona dishes that have been prepared but not served will be sealed and stored. The next morning, when the ship docks, the meals will be taken to the nearby Fondazione L’Ancora, which runs a home for 20 children and provides for for more than 280 people, including refugees.
Both Costa Cruises and the FBAO hope to expand this program.
“The common goal is to involve more and more ships and ports in Italy and the Mediterranean,” said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. “All this is a starting point for anyone who wants to join us in the maritime sector.”