The sense of community, mutual help, attention to the most vulnerable groups or to those who are working for the good of society as a whole, starting with hospital workers, are the feelings emerging most in these weeks of health, economic and social crisis.
As Italy was the first country to be hit by COVID-19 in Europe, local Slow Food groups were the first to find ways to support their communities, local farmers, artisans and producers. Out of tens if not hundreds of examples of Slow Food resilience and solidarity in Italy, we have chosen a few of the most inspiring and uplifting ones.
Examples of Solidarity throughout Italy
Slow Food groups in Piedmont, the region, where the headquarters of Slow Food International and Slow Food Italy are located, as well as Lombardy, an epicenter of the pandemic in Italy, have worked from the very first hours of the emergency. Slow Food groups in the regions help to deliver pizzas and other meals, prepared by Slow Food’s cooks to people in need, as well as to doctors and health personnel who since the beginning of the pandemic work non-stop in hospitals.
Meanwhile, Slow Food Rimini and San Marino Convivium, with over 200 active members, have decided to donate all the income of their recent activities to the pneumology department of the city’s Hospital.
Moving Earth Markets Online
Many Earth Markets in Italy instead of stopping their activities in cities and villages completely have decided to move online to ensure people can regularly receive good clean and fair products from the markets’ producers.
“This is a map of the snail that resists: We stand by the farmers, we support quality food” – these words appear on the map created online by Slow Food Campania. This Slow Food group has created a map of the region of Naples showing different locations of Slow Food’s producers and small-scale farmers.
With the suspension of markets and increasingly stringent regulatory constraints, farmers have had to cancel all sales opportunities because they live far from city centres. An interview conducted by Slow Food Campania with 92 farms participating in the Earth Markets showed that about 76% of them have lost more than half of their turnover due to this crisis and that 38% have seen their revenue suddenly drop to zero while only 9.5% have improved their sales thanks to the possibility of making deliveries and shipments.
The map, which aims to help Slow Food farmers and producers to sustain themselves during the time of crisis, is primarily focused on consumers but also aims at food retail stores, which will be able to directly contact producers of eggs, vegetables, cold cuts, cheese, bread, pasta, fruit and extra virgin olive oil to complete a healthy, good, clean and fair supply chain.