«Missione 2000 was launched in 1993 in La Spezia. At that time I was a member of the diocesan centre, I was already taking part in a social project in Perù when I met Don Bruno Vincenzi. Together we decided to start a food distribution in La Spezia, at the central station – said Sabrina Tommasi, vice president of Missione 2000 -. We cooked vegetable soup and we went distributing it to people in need at night. The project developed gradually over the years and at some point it was necessary to find a location to host those we were helping. That is when we opened Via Torino 114. Here we set a real canteen with 32 seats, a meeting point where people can have their hot meal sitting together. We distribute dinner every day and we do our best to support people seeking help».

How did pandemic change your work?

Before the pandemic, we hosted around 80 people in our canteen. They could sit there and have their meal every night. Pandemic and social distancing forced us to close the canteen but we kept distributing food. We started packing food to take away so that people can come here and collect their meal. We are using the courtyard where we had plexiglass panels placed to guarantee social distancing, in this way we can still help people in need even though numbers have changed: meals distributed average around 50 per day now. Also our beneficiaries changed. At the beginning it was mainly addicts, homeless people and people with mental health disorders. Today there are many immigrants, homeless people and families, people who are lucky enough to have a roof over their head but who cannot make ends meet.

This emergency forced us to reinvent ourselves, to find brand new ways to help people and we have gladly noticed that the measures adopted work well, we might continue along this path».

Missione 2000 is an association that, along with Colazione con il sorriso, was supported by Doctors with Africa Cuamm through the IRC19 project, “Italian Response to Covid19: Improving governance and community preparedness for a resilient society (IRC19)”, funded by USAID (US Agency for International Development).27.240 meals have been distributed in La Spezia thanks to this contribution between 2020 and 2021.

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