Domenico Martino has been providing an essential service for families from Southern Italy since the late 1990s. The enterprising Calabrian truck driver realized that when children moved away from the region, they still missed home cooking. But more importantly, the mothers missed catering to their brood.
That’s why every Saturday afternoon Domenico Martino makes the rounds to mothers all over Calabria, collecting thousands of homemade and prepackaged meals.
Once his truck has been loaded with countless lasagnas, eggplant parmesan, and homemade sauces, he sets out for Rome, delivering the care packages to children that live in the capital. The meals are guaranteed to arrive in time for lunch on Sunday.
Martino’s route only takes him to Rome, but he still has over 3,000 clients throughout Calabria. Other truck drivers work with families to deliver homemade meals to children in different Italian cities.
The price? €15 for a whopping 55-pound package, a huge discount when compared to what most standard couriers charge.
The service helps sustain an emotional tie behind children and mammas all over Italy. The harsh economic climate has forced many young people to leave the towns where they were raised to seek employment opportunities in major cities. The imposed distance can be hard on family-centric Italian mothers, who see delivery services like Mr. Martino’s as allowing them to still care for their faraway "kids", or at least ensure that they are eating well.