Every day, volunteers recover meals from catering services. Frozen and stored at a suitable temperature, the meals are distributed to charities.
Every day large company canteens serve thousands meals, generating a large amount of cooked food waste. Every day, at the end of the lunch break, the recovery process starts. Our volunteers recover unserved meals, that are frozen and stored at a suitable temperature. The meals are transported with insulated vans and delivered to the selected charitable organizations, where they are distributed to the people in need. The selection of the charities is based on the distance from the point of collection.
Daily, School Canteen serve hundreds of meals as well. Only bread and fruits can be recovered from school canteens as they lack the required infrastructure to manage cooked food in accordance to the health and safety regulation.
The volunteers involved in the recovery and transportation are adequately trained on the HACCP regulations (system that prevents the dangers of food contamination).

Resources needed

Refrigerated vans
Cool rooms in the warehouses
Agreement with schools and collective catering companies
Agreement and support from private companies and their caterers

Evidence of success

in 2018:
Food recovered:
424,273 meals recovered
192 Tons of fruit and bread
88 Company Canteens active,
142 School Canteens active,
24 Catering companies
13 Hotels and restaurants
Involved Volunteers: 278 people

Difficulties encountered

Schools canteens do not have the infrastructure needed to manage the recovery according to the legislation.
Organization and changes of strategy of donating Companies might impact the volume and participation to such program

Potential for learning or transfer

Potential for transfer:
1. Processes followed for the collection, management and redistribution of the food, including the required infrastructure
2. Economical sustainability model
3. People organization and training
4. Contracts and agreements

Potential for learning:
The implementation of such processes increases the awareness of the Companies about their waste. This usually brings to the implementation of improvement processes to decrease the waste.
Main institution
Banco Alimentare della Lombardia
Lombardia, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2003
End Date


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