As part of Costa’s ongoing efforts to combat poverty and social exclusion in the local communities where it operates, the Company has entered into a partnership with the Italian food bank charity Fondazione Banco Alimentare in order to donate surplus food from its ships. The project, which was launched on the Costa Diadema in Savona on July 22, involves the donation of food items to Fondazione L'Ancora, which runs a shelter in the town of Varazze that is home to 20 children and also provides meals to over 280 people in need, including refugees. The surplus food donation initiative is a first for global shipping and it is planned to expand the scale of operations and extend the project to other Mediterranean ports. It has been made possible thanks partly to Law no. 166/2016 on food waste and surplus pharmaceutical products, a bill which was promoted by Italian MP Maria Chiara Gadda and passed into law in September 2016. Costa’s pilot project focuses on “ready-to-eat” food, i.e. items prepared for Friday’s buffet but not served to guests: the meals in question, which have high nutritional value, are placed in special aluminum containers labeled to ensure that they can be traced, and then stored in the walk-in refrigerators on board. On Saturday morning, when the ship docks in the Port of Savona, the containers are unloaded and handed over to Banco Alimentare volunteers, who deliver them to the shelter.
The social impact of the Gadda Law is very important for organisations like ours, says Fausto Romano, Director of the Fondazione L’Ancora Onlus, that assists people in need in overcoming the most difficult phases in their lives.The Fondazione L’Ancora ONLUS has responded enthusiastically to the collaboration with Costa Cruises and Banco Alimentare to devise a plan for collecting and distributing food surpluses, which means we will receive varied and excellent quality food. Last but not least, from an educational perspective, the issue of reducing waste and of food as a gift is an important communication and growth tool for the children.