An Overview Of Our Solution
Associação Prato Cheio is a non-governmental organization in São Paulo, Brazil, certified as an OSCIP entity, was established in 2001 by a group of graduate students who identified a great volume of food that was being wasted at the Mercado Municipal in São Paulo. The mission of Prato Cheio is to promote access to adequate food for people at social risk & vulnerability, by fighting food waste & enhancing nutrition education, contributing to environmental development. Prato Cheio´s action is based on collecting fresh food in a safe manner & further transferring them. Aligned with the Millennium Development Goals, Prato Cheio´s projects contribute to: Hunger combat; Nutritional value added to meals; Reduction of food waste; Reduction of organic residues inappropriately disposed; Development of partnerships for a sustainable socio-environment.
- Population Impacted 11,500
- Continent: South America
The discussion about food waste & loss is aligned with environmental and food safety issues.The world produces about 4 billion tons of food per year. Due to inadequate collection, transport and storage practices from the field to the consumer table, about 50% of the world's annual production is lost. Food waste & losses leads to another reality, soil erosion, waste of energy, fertilizers & water are also lost in production. Food waste & loses along the production chain in Brazil, represent 1.4% of the Brazilian GDP, R$ 17.25 billion in agricultural revenue. Brazil is among the 10 countries that most waste food in the world. 35% of agricultural production goes to waste. There are 10 million tons of food that could be on the table of the 54 million Brazilians living below the poverty line. More than 82% of retail market have food losses. 55% are perishable products. Despite continuing to grow since 2004, the pace of losses in the specific case of perishables only increased 0.2% by 2007.
Describe the technical solution you wanted the target audience to adopt
The NGO Prato Cheio intends to inspire other organizations to implement local "Prato Cheio" through these steps:
-Working with partners on identification of food waste hotspots in the food supply chain (farmers, industries, transporters, retailers).
- Promotion of awareness relating the waste reduction.
- Coordination of food collections and redistribution system towards social assistance institutions enrolled.
- Capacity building using in workshops focused on healthy consumption and whole use of foods.
Prato Cheio also aims to inspire the general public to have a new attitude during their daily lives that leads to a reduction on food waste. We do it this through lectures, cooking workshops and events.
Type of intervention
Describe your behavioral intervention
1-Reducing the food waste on food retailers: Solidary Route Project
The Solidary Route project gathers food in shops, wholesalers, retailers, distribution centers, industries, bakeries, among others, and distributes them to charities that provide meals to people in situation of vulnerability and social risk.
Daily, Associação Prato Cheio sends to these local vehicles with drivers, helpers, volunteers and nutritionists to make the separation of food that lost commercial value, but that are in good condition for consumption and preserve their nutritional properties.
Once they are selected, with the nutrition team orientation of Associação Prato Cheio, they are taken to registered charities. Monthly professional training of cooks, nutritional education and monitoring of treated for no charge.
2-New attitude to reduce food waste: Nurturing with Health Project
With 3 actions the project Nurturing with Health promotes nutritional education for cooking professionals and the general public about: whole Utilization of Food (utilization of non-conventional parts of the food (seeds, stems, leaves, bark); reduction of food waste; health and Safety in the Kitchen.
Free to registered and benefited entities from the Solidary Route Project and with symbolic value for other entities and the public. Monthly they are offered at the Technical Laboratory and Dietetics of Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Also in exclusive formats for schools, companies and their employees and the government.
As needed, please explain the type of intervention in more detail
Describe your implementation
Prato Cheio´s action is based on the Colheita Urbana Program, a concept developed by Food Chain, which is a North American and Canadian network of NGOs. It’s based on collecting fresh food in a safe manner and further transferring them. As described, the Solidary Route project gathers food that lost commercial value in shops, wholesalers, retailers among others, and distributes them to charities that provide meals to people in situation of vulnerability and social risk.
The project Nurturing with Health promotes nutritional education for cooking professionals and the general public about: whole Utilization of Food (utilization of non-conventional parts of the food (seeds, stems, leaves, bark); reduction of food waste; health and Safety in the Kitchen.
In 2017, the Solidary Route and Nurturing with Health projects benefited 60 social entities, which offer daily meals for 11,500 people in social vulnerability; collected and distributed almost 218 tons of food; offered monthly professional training for 100% of cooks (17 culinary workshops for 400 cooks in 2017); applied nutritional evaluation of 100% of public child per year (1,200 in 2017).
The work developed by the Associação Prato Cheio is a result of the interaction of all actors involved in the project: both beneficiaries and donors, cooks and drivers in charge of the selection and distribution of food, supporters and volunteers.
Communication between the association and its partners is almost daily. By telephone or even in person, the contact between the parties and consequently the necessary adjustments in the work processes are a constant in the performance of Prato Cheio.
It is important to emphasize that it is precisely the interaction between the different participants of the projects that guarantees the success and the accomplishment of the necessary adjustments to maintain the good functioning of the activities.
Associação Prato Cheio is a member of the Steering Committee of the Brazilian Network of Food Banks (Comitê Gestor da Rede Brasileira de Bancos de Alimentos). We are partners of Red Plato Plato Lleno in Argentina, we are partners of Save Food Network, nutrition colleges, logistics companies (Elog, Ginter), of the Paulista Supermarkets Association (Associação Paulista de Supermercados – APAS).
We are always developing new partnerships to expand our activities and our area of expertise.
Who adopted the desired behaviors and to what degree?
All of the 60 assistance entities with which we have partnership adopt practices to reduce food waste.
We had a greater involvement of retailers with the cause and adoption of actions to minimize the waste of food. Some supermarkets reported that after participating in the Project Solidary Route they were aware of the “size” of food waste and then started actions to avoid it.
How did you impact natural resource use and greenhouse gas emissions?
The collection of food that would go to waste has a direct impact on the reduction of organic waste, saving of natural resources (like water in food production, land use), as well as all spent input, energy and work.
In the environmental area, considering only fresh food (fruits and vegetables) collected in 2016, more than 13 tons of greenhouse gas (eq CO2) were no longer released into the atmosphere!
And more than 54,000 liters of water were saved (volume that would be spent in food production)!
What were some of the resulting co-benefits?
One important outcome was the reduction of costs of food purchase to social assistance organizations. These generated money savings were redirected to other projects. Some organizations reported to us that, thanks to this savings, it was possible to renovate or repair the building and buy other necessary inputs and materials.
Another outcome is the better nutritional quality of meals served to people in those organizations. It contributes not only for a better health condition but also helps to build better food habits.
Considering only the fresh food (fruits and vegetables) collected in 2016, we measured an economy of more than R $ 478,000.00 in the acquisition of these products by the entities. And an economy of over R $ 20,000.00 in costs of food disposal (garbage dumps) for donors.
The great innovation of the project is precisely the fact that, from a simple methodology, a great impact can be achieved. It can be said that the central work is to raise the awareness of the actors and seek support for its implementation.
The resources of Prato Cheio are obtained from foundations, through donations from individuals and companies, through events and fund raising campaigns, through partnerships with universities and service providers. In this way, a broad and diversified support network has been created to guarantee the operation of the project during 17 years of existence.
Return on investment
Currently, Prato Cheio has an annual cost of R$300,000 (about US $ 81,000) to carry out the activities of Solidary Route project and the project Nurturing with Health.
How could we successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?
For the implementation of a food bank, it should be considered:
-the realization of a local diagnosis: survey of potential food donors, potential of social entities and check if other food banks already exist.
-the estimation of the amount of food that could be collected.
-the evaluation of the necessary structure: logistics structure, storage, employees, volunteers, office.
-the study about funding sources.