School meals and nutrition education

Milan Catering, the Municipality company that manages school canteens, is needed 83.000 meals a day, over 14 million per year, a nests, preschools, primary and lower secondary schools, shelters for the elderly, assistance centers for the disabled, including i meals at home for the elderly and non-self-sufficient people, and, with over 800 employees, it is certainly one of the main players in the city's Food Policy and in 2020 it celebrated 120 years of activity.

Consult the information relating to school lunch service.

School canteens are the most direct tool to reach many sustainability objectives of the food system, involving families, boys and girls, and educational and school staff. 

Since 2015 the commitment has been made to reduce the environmental impact of menus, through the introduction of more menus rich in vegetables and legumes and reducing meat. They are present in all the schools served by Milano Ristorazione two seasonal menus, one winter and one summer, whose supply is oriented towards products also coming from short and 0 km supply chains. The World Resources Institute which, through the initiative Cool Food Pledge, which the Municipality has been adhering to for several years, monitors the results of this change action on the menus, has certified that the canteens of Milan, through these actions, have generated between the 2015 and the 2022 a reduction significant of CO2 levels, equal to -34%

Among the most significant projects activated every year are: 

Snack Saver Bag 
From May 2014, to the students of primary schools adherents of the "I DO NOT WASTE" campaign, a washable material bag is provided to encourage them to take home non-perishable products that they did not consume during lunch (bread, fruit, puddings, etc.).

During the 2022/23 school year, approximately 30.500 bags in 117 schools thanks to the participation of the teachers who requested it.

For more information on Saving snack bag

Recovery of surplus bread and fruit from refectories
Always within the “I DO NOT WASTE” project, for over 10 years Uneaten bread, fruit and desserts are distributed to non-profit organizations and charitable organizations. In the 2022/23 school year they were involved further 50 schools, registering the withdrawal of over 17.100 kg of bread it's almost 39.000 kg of fruit not consumed.

For more information on recovery of surpluses

Fruit mid-morning 
The “Fruit at mid-morning” project aims to completely replace the purchased snack by families and usually consumed by children at school, anticipating the distribution of fruit expected at the end of the meal at the break time. The experimentation began in June 2016 in 30 nursery schools in Milan, involving 4000 children. In the 2019/2020 edition, over 60 schools were involved for a total of 18.600 students.

In the 2022-23 school year Mid-morning Fruit saw the participation of 54 primary schools e 1 secondary school, For a total of 14.613 children.

The project has many purposes:

  • improve the balance of the food day of the students;
  • get used to the taste, reinforcing positive behaviors;
  • allow theadoption of a correct eating style;
  • encourage greater food consumption of lunch at school;
  • reduce food waste.

The initiative led to a 17% reduction in food waste.

Since the year 2019 this project has been implemented with the contribution of the “QuBi, the recipe against child poverty” program promoted by the Cariplo Foundation.

For more information on Fruit mid-morning

Info-educational brochures
Since 2020, an info-educational booklet, created by the company together with the Municipality of Milan and the Cariplo Foundation, has been distributed at the end of the school year in all Milanese schools served by Milano Ristorazione. A tool that has the objective of involve children, girls and families in a playful and fun journey towards a healthy lifestyle and to improve the sustainability of the planet starting from food.

Download all editions of the brochures here:

Brochure as 2022/2023 "Milan eats local"

Brochure as 2021/2022 "At the table without waste" childhood

Brochure as 2021/2022 "At the table without waste" primary

Brochure as 2020/2021 "An apple a day"

A chef as a friend
"A chef as a friend" is an initiative that involves the chefs of Milano Ristorazione in visits to the refectories in the city's schools. In 2023, during the Food Forum, 40 male and female chefs working in the 23 kitchen centers of Milano Ristorazione met children from over 220 refectories in the city. Boys and girls have the opportunity to get to know who is behind the dishes that arrive on their tables every day and also have the opportunity to express their wishes on new dishes and recipes.

Updated: 05/04/2024