Food Poverty and Food Policies

Innovative actions through local food networks

Food poverty


Forum Cooperazione e Tecnologia, Buon Mercato


Cariplo Foundation


Local authorities , Associations providing food assistance , Agrifood companies, traders and start-ups , Solidarity purchase groups , Academic expert and research centers

Objective of the project

We developed and tested an innovative intervention model in the fight against food poverty with the involvement of farmers, businesses, associations, consumers and local authorities.

Abstract of the project

The project proposes an innovative approach to combating food poverty, intersecting it with the solidarity economy and community welfare experiences. The project brings together different food actors including assistance recipients to test a different model of food distribution that ensures the quality and sustainability of the food distributed by providing fresh food produced locally. The project implements rights awareness-raising, cooking classes and empowerment activities. 

Context analysis

Food poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon caused by inadequate income but also by the unavailability of varied and healthy food and the lack of knowledge of correct eating lifestyles. In Itlay, increasing large sections of the population have reduced the quantity and quality of food they consume, mainly due to the economic crisis and austerity. Despite the scale of the phenomenon, a specific indicator of food insecurity is missing and the assistance models consist of interventions of the private social sector on a “needs-based” approach that cannot guarantee an effective medium and long-term response. Local food policies are a possible leverage for building sustainable and effective responses. However, only few local authorities such as the Municipality of Milan have adopted them.

The project is implemented in the followig areas near Milan: Assago, Buccinasco, Cesano Boscone, Corsico, Cusago, Trezzano sul Naviglio.

Implementation Period

01/01/2018 - 30/09/2019



  • 120 families 
  • Food assistance operators 
  • Solidarity purchase groups 
  • Parents, school directors and teachers of the Commissioni Mensa 



  • Local associations  
  • Food system actors (farmers, companies, food service and retail) 
  • Citizens and consumers  
  • Universities and research centers  

Project Strategy


  • Context analysis and territorial needs-assesment 
  • Laboratory for the development of a good food assistance practice 
  • Piloting of the proposed practice 
  • Awareness- raising events 


  • A needs-analysis  
  • Training and information days on good food practices 
  • Map of the assistance actors and the local food supply chain
  • 1 Food Lab 
  • Food assistance practice with distribution of fresh products from local producers 
  • Social gardens 
  • Training courses on nutrition and cooking 
  • Local awareness raising events 
  • A Territorial Food Assembly 


  • Food assistance recipients are more aware of their food practices and share their experiences regarding access to food 
  • Local associations providing food assistance develop a new strategic vision based on the understanding of the needs and characteristics of their territory 
  • Citizens are aware of the food policy of their territory and its importance 



Are you interested in a partnership in the field of Food Poverty?