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Alitalia partners with Italian chef Massimo Bottura to help social canteen in Rio

Alitalia has partnered with the world’s best restaurateur to feed people in need during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro. The Italian airline has joined an innovative project set up by Massimo Bottura, chef and owner of Osteria Francescana in Modena, recently named the world’s best restaurant, who also runs the non-profit organization, Food For Soul.

A social canteen has been opened in the Brazilian city’s Lapa district to provide more than 200 meals a day for those in most need by using surplus food from the village built for sporting competitors throughout the Olympics and Paralympics.

The RefettoRio project will see gourmet cuisine prepared by some of the Italy’s best chefs who Alitalia donated complimentary air travel to Rio de Janeiro. More than 19,000 meals will be served during the games and 12 tonnes of leftover food will be used by the team of Italian chefs in the social canteen initiative.

The Italian airline also made space available in its Rome to Brazil aircraft to carry crockery, cutlery and other catering equipment.

Alitalia’s collaboration with Food For Soul sees a further commitment from the airline to social issues and humanitarian organisations in the fight against world hunger. It launched in 2015 with World Food Programme Italy fundraising “Give for Food” campaign on its long-haul flights to support the charity’s school meals project.

The RefettoRio project is a continuation of the Refettorio Ambrosiano model in Milan, launched last year during the EXPO exhibition.