A social plate for all
Name of the initiative: Social Plate
Organisation form: Informal organisation
Domain: Food waste
Starting year: 2018
Keywords: social inclusion; food waste; sustainability; distribution
The idea for ‘Social Plate’ was developed by Thessaloniki Central Market S.A., in the framework of the INTERREG V-A Greece – Bulgaria 2014-2020 programme, as a solution to the problems of poverty and social exclusion and the need to protect the environment.
The goal is to provide food for vulnerable social groups, to provide work to the long-term unemployed, to limit food waste and to achieve a change in the course and attitude towards food waste matters.
Every day, traders of TH.C.M. S.A. deliver non-marketable goods to the organic waste management office of the company and, under the supervision of the head of quality control, the products are separated into those that are fit for consumption and those that are not. Subsequently, with the help of volunteers from the agencies that benefit from the programme, they are repackaged.
Local social agencies (Social Grocery Stores, Non-Governmental Organisations, Church Kitchens, Rehabilitation Communities etc.) and volunteers that are working with the programme receive the recovered products and distribute them, cooked or raw, to vulnerable social groups (homeless, unemployed people, refugees, and anyone in need of a plate of food). Since April 2018 the ‘Social Plate’ team has handled 268,548 kilos of fruits and vegetables, from which 190,221 kilos were recovered and offered to fellow people, while at the same time stopping the transformation of this quantity of food into organic waste.
Currently, 70 agencies participate in the distribution (Social Grocery Stores, NGOs, Foundations, Church Kitchens, etc). The goals of the Thessaloniki Central Market are to limit food waste, combat malnutrition, recycle packaging and correctly manage organic waste.
Future plans of Social Plate include:
- Collaboration with all enterprises which belong to Thessaloniki Central Market
- Seeking collaboration with local producers
- Management of organic waste and recyclable packaging
- Support from enterprises in the context of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Author: Vasso Giatsidou/ PhD Candidate Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Date added: 1 Dec 2019