Italy Harvest Food Donation 101 With Angela Belcastro

Mar 4, 2021 10:00 AM ET

1. Can you give us a brief history on Harvest in Italy? When did it start?

KFC arrived in Italy at the end of 2014 and from the very beginning the company worked on figuring out how to activate the Harvest Program in our market as a pillar of the CSR commitment. As a quick service restaurant brand our focus on CSR addresses topics related to food, as well as fighting hunger and reduce food waste– Harvest addresses both. 

The entire team worked hard to make sure that the procedures and the process was compliant with health & safety rules set up by local Health Departments. This helped to make sure that the project would run smoothly once the setup was finalized. The program kicked off at the end of 2017. This was possible thanks to two specific factors: on one hand, a new Italian anti-waste law that further simplified the process introduced by the Good Samaritan Law and, on the other hand, our partnership with the Italian Food Bank, the Banco Alimentare Network that is the most authoritative structure in Italy for food collection from horeca and retail. Thanks to its local branches we can work directly with the local charities donating the food from KFC restaurants in the area. 

The KFC restaurant in the Il Centro Shopping Mall in Arese was the first one to start the project in the country and it was followed shortly after by the restaurant in Milan at Bicocca Village. They are both managed by the franchisee 5Roosters srl, whom we are really grateful to, as well as all the Team Members of these first two restaurants, for the invaluable collaboration in pioneering the project in the country. 

2. How does Harvest work in the restaurant? 

Harvest is a simple, but very rigorous system. The fried chicken that is not sold during the day is collected in bags for food use, labeled with information relating to quantity, type of product and expiration date. The chicken is then frozen and stored in the freezer rooms inside the restaurant, until it is collected by the Food Bank, which transports it, in thermal bags, and delivers it to the charity structures recipient of the donation in the area. The chicken is delivered frozen and packaged to ensure product’s food safety. 

3. Where does the donated food go?

The donated food goes to charities that manage soup kitchens or foster homes, as well as associations that directly assist families and people in need by providing them with food. They are active in the area near the restaurants and are all part of the Banco Alimentare network. 

15 charities are involved in the program so far, throughout the national territory.

4. Why is Harvest important for Italy?

The Harvest Program is a concrete way to help those in need. We also hope that our fried chicken will not only help feed those who need it with a tasty and high-protein product, but also bring to those who receive it a little joy. 

People who work in restaurants are happy and proud to dedicate a part of their time to the recovery of surpluses and this enables us on two aspects of our people promise: “make a difference” and “be your best self”. 

It’s also a dutiful commitment against food waste, for its implication on the environment. Another pillar of KFC’s commitment in this area is the recent involvement of clients. In all KFC restaurants in Italy, customers are invited to take home the chicken they have bought but have not consumed: they can take it away, with great simplicity and comfort, in the buckets or boxes, to eat for later. Also, for this activation, KFC received the aegis of Banco Alimentare. It's a small action that can make a difference.

For its impact on people, inside and outside the organization, and on planet, the Harvest Program is truly a way to enact our Social Purpose: Feeding People’s Potential.

5. What milestones has Harvest reached so far and what does the future of the Harvest program look like?

KFC has been the first quick service restaurant chain collecting and donating food in Italy.

The Harvest Program started in two restaurants in 2017, in the area of Milan, and with the presentation to stakeholders on the 20th of October 2017 at the presence of the On. Maria Chiara Gadda - member of Italian Parliament and signee of the the above-mentioned anti-waste law.

In 2018 two more restaurants joined the list. 

In 2019 all the franchisees of KFC Italy had at least one restaurant participating in the project. That was instrumental for the future of the project. On May 2019, thanks to its commitment in fighting food waste, KFC Italy was asked to host the event celebrating the 30th anniversary of Banco Alimentare Italy in a KFC restaurant in Rome and the Harvest Program case history was presented.

In 2020 1/3 of the 46 KFC restaurants in the country were participated. 

In 3 years over 36,000 meals have been donated by KFC restaurants in Italy. 

The goal for the future is to have all the remaining KFC restaurants in the Italy involved in the Harvest Program.