The normative framework for the functioning of social canteen services in the country has been developed with the EU assistance
In November 2022, two workshops for consulting the new normative framework, which will regulate the activity of food support services throughout the country, have been held. The workshops have been carried out with the support of the project “Partnerships for inclusive and resilient social canteen services”, funded by the European Union.
During the workshops, the drafts of a new Regulatory Framework and the Minimum Quality Standards for social services providing food support were presented. These documents were elaborated, taking into account the recommendations of the Study on the assessment of the situation of social canteen services, carried out within the project, as well as the international experience in providing food support services.
These two documents were consulted with representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, representatives of local public authorities, public and private providers of social canteen services and civil society representatives. All of them were invited to offer recommendations and additions.
The projects of the two normative documents will be improved and completed with the recommendations offered by the participants and the final versions of the documents will be presented for approval to the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection. The new normative framework will contribute to the development of food support services at national level by regulating the activity of public and private providers of food support services. At the same time, the documents will stipulate clear principles related to the way of organising and functioning, aim, objectives and financing of the services.
The project “Partnerships for inclusive and resilient social canteen services”, co-funded and implemented by P.I. “Keystone Moldova”, P.A. “Concordia. Social Projects” and P.I.S.M. “Diaconia”, aims at developing social canteen services to extend the access to the services for people from vulnerable groups.
Social canteens in Moldova: a necessary but underdeveloped service
A study on the situation of social canteens from the country was carried out within the project “Partnerships for inclusive and resilient social canteen services”, funded by the European Union.
The study performed a mapping of the services to establish the coverage of the social canteen services at country level; at the same time, different forms of providing this type of social service were identified and analysed, and the degree of satisfaction of beneficiaries was assessed.
According to the data collected during the study, there are 93 social canteens in the Republic of Moldova. They offer daily food services to approximately 5,000 people with disabilities, people with low income, elderly people, families with many children and single mothers. Overall, in 2021, over 16,000 vulnerable people benefited from social canteen services; more than 50% of them being elderly people, 63 years old and higher. One third of the services are provided in urban areas, and two thirds are provided in rural areas.
The results of the study were consulted within a workshop with representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Social Assistance and Family Protection Departments from the country, representatives of local public authorities, as well as with public and private providers of social canteen services. The data collected within the research and the workshop will be used for the elaboration of the Regulatory Framework and the Minimum Quality Standards for the social services of food support, inclusively, which are to be elaborated by the implementing organisations in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.
“According to the study, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the refugee crisis and the energy crisis increased the level of poverty and vulnerability of the population. In this context, the need for social canteen services is much bigger than the possibilities of providing this kind of service. Taking into account the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, many social canteen services have refugees among their beneficiaries. This is why, it is necessary to develop and extend food support services to make them accessible to a larger number of beneficiaries”, said Ludmila Malcoci, Executive Director of I. P. “Keystone Moldova”, during the workshop.
The implementation period of the project “Partnerships for inclusive and resilient social canteen services”, funded by the European Union, is 1 January, 2022 – 31 December, 2024.