“As in all humanitarian situations, there are strict guidelines concerning food provisions. Italy’s interior ministry clearly details the diet that each asylum seeker should get. In its public tender document, which regulates the activities of NGO contractors, it states that for breakfast, “one hot drink, some crackers, butter, jam, or some biscuits”, should be served. For lunch and dinner, it details pasta, rice or couscous – the volume of which depends on the sauce or vegetables it is served with. It says this should be followed by meat, or eggs and cheese, and accompanied by a side of vegetables. Fruit and bread are also on the menu – and the occasional dessert.
In my visits to reception centres, including hotels, houses and apartments scattered across the province, I seldom saw this menu followed”