projects with heart and soul that endure and find ways to move forward without forgetting others

projects with heart and soul that endure and find ways to move forward without forgetting others

Antonella Bonora, administrator of the Convivium of Bologna and coordinator of the Slow Food markets in the city, tells how the producers of the three markets of the city have set up a home delivery service to supply regular consumers with good, clean and fair products. and to help hardships during the coronavirus emergency.

Like all places of socialization, the markets experienced a freeze in activity in March. Physical distancing also involved distancing oneself from everyday life, from small and beautiful habits which, added together, are simply called life.

Our three markets in Bologna, including the Mercato del Novale (Earth Market), quickly adapted to the new situation.

I can not hide that at the start, the wonder was coupled with a concern in the face of the emergency: the large distribution continued to operate, while our markets were closed. We were well aware that a difficult period of health emergency was beginning, which would have put the entire population to the test, economically affecting many categories of workers and even more so the weakest sectors. This is why, after the first moment of astonishment, some producers as well as the members of the Slow Food Bologna Convivium reacted with a real community spirit by organizing a home purchase service in a few days.

A week after the March 2020 confinement, the first vans were already on their way to bring groceries to passers-by’s homes. In a few weeks, we managed to reach more than 200 families in Bologna.

It only took us 4-5 days to be able to reactivate sales and not break the direct relationship between producers and consumers. At first, the growers who joined the delivery initiative were few, five in all, but between March and April we reached around 25. The deliveries covered everything: fruits and vegetables, cheeses, eggs, beers and oils Slow Food guides. , three local Sentinels. We weren’t able to handle only particularly complex items, such as meat and fresh fish.

We have publicized the initiatives through our social pages, two producers – Matteo Scarpellini producer of the purple artichoke of San Luca, and the È benessere cooperative, which works for the company in Noto that supplies us with organic oranges – have assumed the delivery charge.

Since the beginning, we have managed around 200 deliveries per week, growing to over 300.

In short, the result is commendable from all points of view. No one stopped production, no one suffered damage. We even came into contact with new conscious consumers, who “discovered” us in times of pandemic. We were mainly worried about the situation of the ex-Dazio, but even that held, indeed! Now that it has been reopened, it can count on both physical customers and those still using the delivery service”.

But the community could not avoid gestures of pure solidarity. This is how the Slow Food Bologna Convivium and “its” markets have joined forces with the non-profit organization Servizio accoglienza alla vita (Welcome Service in Life) to guarantee free access to fresh food for single mothers with children. and families in socio-economic difficulty. It’s a wonderful way to demonstrate closeness, even from a distance.

Thanks to the additional funds contributed by Slow Food members and the valuable availability of producers, it has been possible to provide baskets of vegetables, fruit and other products to guests of apartment groups and families who, at that time, had been left without any form of sustenance.

Now the situation is slowly normalizing. Markets reopened some time ago. Entrances are restricted, people wear masks to ensure safety, and we also see new faces, those who got to know us through social media.

Our experience at that particular time made us rediscover the spirit of solidarity with citizens affected by the suspension of work and studies and/or the inability to find new occupations, or forced into care for their out-of-school children.

I also want to thank everyone who helped make this action possible. People who have contributed to creating a real community of producers, citizens, associates and all members of civil society who have worked together to overcome the crisis and strengthen the precious relationships of solidarity, starting with good food , clean and fair.

It’s true: nothing will ever be normal again. And we will not be able to completely erase the pain and hardship caused by Covid-19. In fact, to do so would be an unforgivable mistake. But we will also know that there are beautiful projects, with heart and soul, which resist and find ways to move forward, perhaps better than before. The markets of Bologna are one of them.

Slow Food Heroes is a funded project by the European Cultural Foundation, with the contribution of the CRC Foundation.

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