Italy. Poverty on the rise in Milan: in 3 years 80% more food aid
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04-10-2023 | di COOPI

Italy. Poverty on the rise in Milan: in 3 years 80% more food aid

The growing rate of poverty in Milan runs in parallel with the demand for aid. During 2023, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale distributed food parcels every month to 450 families in the city and hinterland, the same number since the end of 2022. This is a 21% increase from 2021 - when 370 families were supported every month - and an 80% increase from 2020 - when the families were 250. The data were released at the presentation of COOPI's Annual Report 2022, alongside the figures concerning the over 250 projects that the nongovernmental organization has conducted in 33 countries around the world.

The first interventions of the NGO against food poverty and social marginalization in Milan date back to 1999, a year in which, on the initiative of the founder Father Barbieri, the distribution of food to several families was promoted in the most disadvantaged areas of the city.

After the eruption of requests for aid during the pandemic, the demand has never stopped increasing,

says Federico Pirola, operator in charge of COOPI's Countering Poverty project. He adds:

This is a loud and clear red flag, signaling how serious the problem of poverty is and how it is spreading like wildfire across the metropolitan city's territory, far beyond the neighborhoods where historically the poorest segments of the population are concentrated

Photo: Federico Pirola, operator in charge of the Project in Italy, with Ennio Miccoli, COOPI's director, and Antonella Tagliabue, journalist, in occasion of the event COOPI Cascina Aperta. 

In collaboration with Banco Alimentare, in the European Fead aid program, and in agreement with "Orsero Group" and "Bosco in città", packages containing pasta, rice, milk, legumes, oil, fruits, and vegetables are distributed monthly in the two COOPI centers in the San Siro and Gallaratese neighborhoods. The first distribution center had been opened in 2020, in the San Siro neighborhood; in 2021 the second one followed, at COOPI's headquarters in the Gallaratese neighborhood. The initiative, thanks also to the contribution of numerous volunteers, is active in the areas of Corsico, Cormano, Baggio, Quarto Oggiaro, Piazzale Selinunte, and the Varese area. In addition to parcel delivery, COOPI is also present with listening desks, where it welcomes people seeking support, places them in the aid program and redirects them to other associations that are also part of the QuBì network.

The package delivery is not only a concrete help to reach the end of the month, but also a way to give people a point of reference. It is a way to tell them that they are not alone,

 concludes Ennio Miccoli, director of COOPI.

Cover Photo: ph Paolo Carlini
Photo in the text: ph Margherita Monti