It’s already a year since the start of the joint project between Costa and Fondazione Banco Alimentare; the resulting surplus food donation scheme has led to the retrieval in Costa’s shipboard restaurants of almost 50,000 portions of food, which have been offloaded and donated to people in need. What better way to celebrate this anniversary than by adding a new port to the program? July 17, this year for the first time the Costa Fascinosa offloaded for charity in the Port of Palermo surplus food produced on board!

This follows the recent introduction (May 2018) of the ports of Bari and Marseille, which joined the original participants Savona and Civitavecchia, meaning that the scheme has expanded in the Mediterranean and also acquired an international dimension thanks to the inclusion of the French port.

In Palermo every Tuesday, Costa’s surplus meals are consigned by Banco Alimentare staff to the parish of Santa Maria della Pace, where volunteers from the Centro San Francesco run a soup kitchen for around 100 people.

The ceremony held to mark the debut of the program in Palermo on July 17 was opened by the Master of the Costa Fascinosa, Captain Pasquale Arena. The dignitaries in attendance included Costa Cruises Vice President Guest Experience & OBS Giuseppe Carino, MEP Simona Bonafé, Banco Alimentare General Director Giuseppe Parma, Costa’s Sustainability External Relations Director Stefania Lallai and the Honorable Maria Chiara Gadda, the Italian MP, promoter and drafter of Law no. 166/16 in favor of the donation of surplus food. Also present were representatives from the Customs Office, Palermo Port Authority, the local Harbor Master’s Office. During the various speeches, the surplus food project was praised for its performance and for the impressive scale of its efforts in the first twelve months of activity, also in relation to the venture’s relevance to the EU’s Circular Economy Package. The speakers also focused on the local situation in Palermo and stressed the importance of this scheme as part of the city’s growth and development. All the interested parties agreed on the excellence of the partnership and expressed their determination to ensure that the program will continue in the future and evolve over time.