Results of Food Waste Hubs presented at Food Forum

A model of combating food waste that is strengthening and growing, with tonnes of food being recovered every year.

Politecnico di Milano, promoter of the Food Waste Hubs together with Comune di Milano, Fondazione Cariplo and Assolombarda, took part in the Food Forum and presented the results of the project.

The Neighbourhood Hubs initiative was launched in 2019 to promote the recovery and redistribution of food surpluses, with a territorial network of third-sector actors, who in turn distribute the food to people and families in need.

We are proud to tell the results of a great story, that of the Neighbourhood Hubs against food waste in Milan, a project which is the result of many years of collaboration and continuous social innovation.

stressed Alessandro Perego, Vice Rector for Sustainable Development and Societal Impact at Politecnico di Milano.

In the hubs, virtuous collaborations have been developed that shape a social proposal in the neighbourhoods, involving many different experiences and sensibilities.

The Foody Zero Waste initiative, within the Milan agri-food market, involved around 60 wholesalers through the Valore project promoted by Fondazione Cariplo in cooperation with Sogemi and Comune di Milano, as well as with Eco dalle Città and Caritas Ambrosiana, both active at the market.

Over the years, the involvement of both public and private partners has allowed going through an initial phase of experimentation, followed by a phase of consolidation and reconfiguration of project activities in response to the pandemic and, finally, a phase of expansion and scalability of the hub model, enriching it with new partners, resources and a plurality of services for the benefit of people in need.

In 2022, more than 177 tonnes of food were collected by 12 supermarket brands in the four Food Waste Hubs active in Milan (Isola, Gallaratese, Lambrate and Centro; the latter opened last September), reaching over 3,500 households (data: Food Sustainability Observatory of Politecnico di MIlano). To these another 120 tonnes of surplus food recovered by Recup and Banco Alimentare della Lombardia are added, collected in the fifth Foody Zero Waste hub inside the Sogemi food market in Milan (source: University of Milan), resulting in more than 290 tonnes of food being recovered in 2022.

In the first three months of 2023 alone, 48 tonnes of food have already been collected in the four Hubs of Isola, Gallaratese, Lambrate and Centro and donated for over 97,000 equivalent meals.

Thanks to the continuous interaction with the actors involved in the network, Politecnico di Milano has given and will continue to give its contribution as a promoting partner, which is responsible for the system measuring and monitoring the project's impacts. This is a fundamental aspect in order to identify critical issues and adopt the appropriate solutions necessary to limit food waste and food insecurity.

concludes Perego.

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