Theirs is a very special restart. Because the commitment they put into what they do is so special. Neither the Coronavirus nor the lockdown stopped their urge to start over. And so in a few days many we can see them at work again. Who are we talking about? About the young protagonists of the “PizzAut” project, the pizzeria in Lombardy is managed by autistic children. But they won’t open their premises as expected. They will bring pizzas into the houses, stuffing and baking them on the road, in their brand new truck, a small red four-wheeled pizzeria.
PizzAut, pizzeria on the road
The project started a few years ago by Nico Acampora, father of an autistic boy, with the aim of creating a place where autistic children could work and integrate fully, has evolved. They decided to use a truck, a pickup truck, to bring their pizzas to customers. The service will be operational from the first days of June. Pizzas will be delivered between Milan, Monza and Brianza. Their pizzeria should have open on April 2, on Autism Day, in the premises set up in Cassina de ’Pecchi, in the province of Milan. Then the obligatory stop for the Covid emergency.
Furthermore, works for the construction of the pizzeria had stopped, also because many workers came from the Bergamo area, among the areas most affected by the virus. “We stopped at the beginning of March as a precaution, before any national and regional directive – he explained to Corriere Acampora. We were almost ready, we had already collected the uniforms for the guys assigned to the pizzas and for those in the dining room, we had come to choose the chef from 250 curricula of extraordinary people who responded to our appeal, we had hired the room educator “.
With Phase 2 the building site restarted to complete PizzAut pizzeria
And now that Phase 2 has started and the quarantine is over, the construction site has also started again. But waiting for the works to be completed, this new idea was born to involve young people. A sort of four-wheeled pizzeria that shuttled between the neighboring municipalities for deliveries. “We don’t let Autism stop us, much less Covid” they wrote on Facebook. The desire for inclusion and work for autistic children does not stop.”
The project carried out with the support of the Community Foundation
Through a red truck, branded PizzAut, the boys will take their orders, and then they will do what they have learned: pizzas. “This lockdown has marked our kids – added Acampora. I have received requests for help from all over Italy and even now it is not clear why hairdressers can open, but not the educational and support services for our children. Someone has regressed, someone no longer wants to leave the house. We had to find a way to resume our business, pending the opening of our pizzeria.”
This initiative also started with the contribution of the Community Foundation of Milan, which donated 75 thousand euros. “The funding – noted Acampora – also allows us to kick off the “AccademiAut” project, as soon as our kitchen is fit for use, to form new pizza makers and waiters, in groups of 5 or 6. Our aim is to replicate the idea of Pizzaut also in other areas of Italy”.
The pizzeria will be adapted to safety regulations
Work for the pizzeria is thus divided: the venue is 300 square meters. 80 seats will be set up inside and 60 in the outdoor garden. In addition, the carpenters are creating wooden panels designed to cushion the noises that may disturb some guys. And then there will be two kitchen: a large and a small one for coeliacs, belt furnaces, to follow the various cooking phases up to serve the pizzas.
Laboratory for the social inclusion of children
The project started a few years ago. It was born with the aim of training young autistic people and introducing them to the world of work, with an adequate staff that follows the various phases. “We realized that with attention, delicacy and determination – explain the promoters of the project on the social page – this situation can be changed. And for this reason we decided to invest our energies and our resources in a project capable of building today a different present and future, where to integrate autistic people not because they need help, but because they are bearers of skills and well-being” .