Using food and water wisely
Aspen Italy continued its support of Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus, one of the main Italian NPOs dedicated to collecting and distributing surplus food to the impoverished. Banco Alimentare is a member of the Fédération Européenne des Banques Alimentaires that distributes food to thousands of people each year.
The initiative involved 37 Aspen employees and 13 Banco Alimentare warehouses across Italy, from the Dolomites to Sicily.
Employees were welcomed at a local warehouse where they assisted by sorting, checking and packaging the food for distribution to those in need.
The experience has again reminded them that the fight against food and water wastage needs to form part of everyone’s daily choices and actions and they encourage their colleagues across the Group to address this urgently at a personal level.
The European House-Ambrosetti, the South African Embassy in Italy and Aspen hosted a press conference on Mandela Day that focused on social and economic disparities.
Discussions at this event centered around initiatives to address poverty and foster peaceful integration and coexistence between different communities in Italy to bring about equal access to resources and the distribution of wealth.
Franca Biondelli, Undersecretary to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies said, “#ActionAgainstPoverty is more topical than ever and calls for immediate and proactive responses, primarily by our institutions. Our attention must increasingly be focused on the activation of social policies and financial support of the weakest sections of the population.”
The poverty intensity index, which indicates how poor the poor are, has increased from 18.7% in 2015 to 20.7% in 2016. Federico Polidoro, 1STAT Directorate of Social Statistics and Population Census, confirmed that the identikit of absolute poverty signifies women, young adults and families with three or more children (including minors) being the worst affected.
"According to the latest !stat data, there are almost 5 million people who cannot access proper nutrition. It is in this difficult context that Banco Alimentare's daily work comes into the picture, supporting over 8,000 charitable organizations in Italy, to which 66,000 tonnes of food saved from waste were distributed last year. There is nothing more important in life than giving," said Marco Lucchini, Secretary General of Banco Alimentare Foundation.
A key contribution can also be offered by public-private partnerships. The articulated program of solidarity initiatives promoted by Aspen, is born in the spirit of Mandela's legacy. Aspen’s Stavros Nicolaou said, “While Aspen celebrates Mandela Day all over the world, even in Rome, we need to continue to pay tribute to his memory and his role in promoting access to life-saving medicines. Our commitment has ensured that we remain at the forefront, not only with regard to HIV and the supply of generic ARVs, but also in other treatment areas, in Italy, South Africa and in many other countries where we operate."
Nomatemba Tambo, South African Ambassador in Italy said, “Both organizations have been friendly to South Africa for some years and we are very pleased with this collaboration, which we hope will continue in the future with further successful initiatives."