Crisis Management


The continuous provision of meals in public institutions is a top priority for procurement officials, providers of catering services and infrastructure, and consumers. Persons in the care of the public sector as for example children in schools, patients in hospitals or, senior citizens in social care homes depend on one or more daily meals provided by the public sector. This dependency falls back on those entities that produce and distribute the meals.

When unexpected incidents happen, the production and distribution of public meals may be disrupted. The situation following an unexpected incident is considered as a “crisis” and requires short-term or long-term actions of those involved in the provision of public meals to ensure a continuous supply of food. You may think of disruptions in small scales such as lack of delivery of certain goods on a certain day in the kitchen; yet those involved in providing the meal have to implement alternative actions to deliver the public meal. Large scale incidents such as the lock-down during the COVID-19 pandemic or migration of many people, e.g., refugees, have a very strong impact on public meal provision. In both examples, the crises induce changed practices and point to the strategic importance of proper preparedness plans.

In this section, you will find a selection of tools to help you develop preparedness plans, provide alternative solutions to deliver school meals, find resources in your network, and good practices for reacting in times of crisis. Furthermore, you find support to establish and manage communication in situations of crises. This is very important.

The Guide to prepare an Action Plan helps to manage public meal provision in situations of a food crisis. The Guide supports particularly municipalities and public meal providers to be more prepared to deal with public meals before, during and after crises.

Find the PDF for download: Guide to Actionplan (ENG)

Tools in the Crisis Management Gateway

How can trade be established between local suppliers and catering companies in times of disrupted value chains? The tool provides general guidelines for connecting with local suppliers in order to reduce public kitchens’ dependency on distant suppliers.

This tool explains how to communicate with all affected actors in times of crisis. Two topics are addressed that help to take the first steps towards a procedure of how to communicate and manage transparently in situations of crisis.

This tool describes how to provide school meals for children in situations of crisis when they can’t eat at school. The tool can be used by directors of public educational institutions – kindergartens, primary schools, and secondary schools.

In crisis situations with a high risk of infection, it makes sense to guide the walking routes of school and day care children in the area of the canteen's food serving area and thus reduce the risk of infection. How such a concept can be designed is presented in this tool.

Some people have no place to cook their meals and others have food left over that they would like to make freely available to others. This tool provides guidelines for organising social kitchens and a social fridge network.

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