Free packages of food and basic goods for people hit by the recession following the pandemic
The medical crisis that’s enveloped Italy over the last few months is beginning to leave another crisis in its wake. A new poverty is becoming a daily reality for many people. Large families, old people living alone, poor young people and workers in the industries hardest hit by the crisis have found themselves struggling to feed themselves and their children day to day.
A recent study shows that more than a million people can no longer afford food and basic goods. We’re facing an unprecedented social crisis, one that’s carved out a new class of vulnerable people, until now under the radar of traditional or state support. So, we decided to run a project outside of the medical sphere, to spread a message of solidarity and help people get by with dignity.Rossella Miccio, President of EMERGENCY
It was to help those people that we launched ‘Nessuno escluso. Neanche chi è ora in difficoltà’ (‘No one left out. Not even those only in difficulty now’). The project will deliver free packages of food and basic goods to people who need help at this difficult time and have nowhere else to go.
The project is currently running in Milan and Rome and should last six months. The end goal is to reach 4,000 households hit by the social and economic fallout of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Inside the packages
The people and families who take part in the programme are brought three kinds of package:
- personal care
We have also put together special packages for coeliacs, lactose-intolerant people, vegetarians, babies (with baby food, powdered milk, nappies and wet wipes) and anyone else who may have special requirements.
In Milan our project has been running on an experimental basis since mid May. We’ve delivered 1,670 food packages so far.
‘In phase 1, EMERGENCY had already organised a network for delivering basic goods to people in quarantine, ill and elderly people, and we picked out various families for whom the lockdown was not only a health risk but above all a threat to their economic survival. In Milan alone, thanks to help from Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza, 320 volunteers brought ready meals to some of the city’s most vulnerable people, did more than 5,000 shopping trips and gave out 100,000 masks from the municipal council.’ Marco, head of the Milan project
The project covers the entire municipality of Milan and is in collaboration with Brigate Volontarie per l’Emergenza.
In Rome, the project has been running since mid-June in three of its municipalities (1, 6 and 7). We plan to reach 150 households in the first week, then spread our coverage to more municipalities and people over the next few weeks.
‘We’re starting with a small core of families for whom the epidemic is not just a health risk but above all a threat to their economic survival, but we intend to spread our work all over the city and create a wider network of volunteers to work with.’
Pietro, head of EMERGENCY’s volunteer coordination department
The project is done in collaboration with a range of voluntary organisations in the area.
All deliveries are made by volunteers from EMERGENCY and organisations it works with. They go about in pairs and wear a badge identifying them. All of them have been given specific training to minimise the risk of them spreading the disease to each other and the people they’re helping.
For more information on our service in Milan, or to tell us about people in need of help, you can call us on the dedicated number +39 02 86316890.
In Rome, you can tell the councils of the municipalities where we’re running the service (1, 6 and 7) about anyone in need of help.
Support our work
We know how important it is that no one’s left behind, especially at a time of crisis. We want to do all we can to help people get through this, but to do that we need your help.