September 29th is the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, an opportunity to call to action both the public (national or local authorities) and the private sector (businesses and individuals), to prioritize actions and move ahead with innovation to reduce food loss and waste towards restoring and building back better and resilient-ready, food systems.
In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, KFC in Italy is encouraging customers in all 49 of its restaurants to take home any uneaten chicken in the iconic bucket in which it was served. KFC Italia is also continuing its commitment to the Harvest Program which recovers and donates surplus products to those in need.
In Italy, KFC was the first chain restaurant in the QSR sector (and is still the only one) to activate a structured program for the recovery and donation of unsold products to tackle food waste. In partnership with Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus, KFC Italia ensures that our Harvest Program helps people in need by donating unsold food to various charitable organizations operating across Italy to reduce the environmental impact of waste and help mitigate hunger.
How does Harvest work? KFC product that is not sold throughout the day is collected in food-grade bags and labeled with the necessary information, including the expiration date. The packed food is then frozen and stored inside the restaurant. Every week Banco Alimentare collects and transports the product, in special thermal bags, and delivers it to organizations receiving the donation in the area. The chicken is then distributed, still frozen and packaged, to people (assisted by charitable organizations) or reused by the charities themselves to prepare meals in their canteens.
According to the United Nations, reducing food loss and waste is of significant importance as it contributes to the realization of broader improvements to agri-food systems toward achieving food security, food safety, improving food quality and delivering on nutritional outcomes. Reducing food loss and waste also contributes significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as pressure on land and water resources. Learn more about the Harvest Program in Italy by reading this previous post.