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Assessing the Transformative Potential of Food Banks: The Case Study of Magazzini Sociali (Italy)

Giaime Berti (), Claudia Giordano () and Mariavaleria Mininni ()
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Giaime Berti: Institute of Management, School of Advanced Studies Sant’Anna, 56127 Pisa, Italy
Claudia Giordano: Department of Agriculture and Food Science and Technology, University of Bologna, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Mariavaleria Mininni: Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures, University of Basilicata, 75100 Matera, Italy

Agriculture, 2021, vol. 11, issue 3, 1-20

Abstract: Food poverty and/or food insecurity have become a substantial problem in the advanced capitalist world, with growing portions of people struggling to eat healthy food every day. At the same time, just in the European Union (EU), around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually. We call this paradox the “food paradox”. The question is, how to tackle food paradox? Food banks are usually presented as a win–win solution to tackle the food paradox, despite being quite controversial. Indeed, food banks are highly contested because, according to critics, they do not aim to address the structural causes, but rather they only intervene on the effects of the food paradox. This paper develops the PAHS conceptual framework, the acronym of prefiguration, autonomy, hybridization, and scalability, which provides the four categories through which to explore the transformative potential of food surplus redistribution initiatives. The PAHS is adopted to investigate the case study of Magazzini Sociali, a food bank project developed by IoPotentino, a not-for-profit organization operating in Potenza. The results show a good transformative potential of the organization and provide an example of social innovation that can be replicated in other contexts.

Keywords: transformative potential; food banks; food waste; food donation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q1 Q10 Q11 Q12 Q13 Q14 Q15 Q16 Q17 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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