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The history of charity system in Romania is quite new and started, first of all with international help and experience exchange after the end of communism. Since then, many NGOs started to work, providing social services among them, providing warm meals for people in need.

A good example is The Association „Filantropia Ortodoxă” Bistrița-Năsăud – The purpose of the association is to improve the quality of life in the territorial communities through: social, medical, cultural, educational, economic and environmental services, provided in the Christian spirit.


From the point of view of the CE4Food project, we were interested in how the food waste management process is managed at the Social Canteen in Bistrita.

From the discussions, we understood that, although there is no knowledge about the circular economy in the field of food production, the activity of these small kitchens is a circular one, through the use of food flows.

In order to create a better understanding of the waste management for this type of social business, a business model canvas was created.

The Social canteen is not a very big one but has all necessary spaces to produce and preserve food for a number of 80 persons/day. The menu depends on donations that could be in money or nature.

The customers are persons in need such as: persons with a low living standard, old people living alone, poor people, families with many children and one parent families and so on. They all have different needs but food is a common need. They can be registered with the association or not. No one in need leaves the premise hungry.

Because of COVID 19th pandemic people do not eat food in the small canteen but they take away their food using: Own vessel, pots, paper bags, plastic packaged from old plastic packages.

Unfortunately there is any education issues for customers how to deal with packaging waste. Canteen staff observes that people use the same dishes to take food away. Very clean and well-preserved dishes.

Our course is prepared at a usable level, independent of the staff of the social canteens that we encourage to use these materials in order to broaden their perspective and understand the importance of reducing food waste.


Some more information you will find in Study cases section.

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