Earlier this week Benny Di Zitti, a dear friend of Slow Food passed away prematurely. We are deeply saddened by this news and we send our love and deepest condolences to his family.
An architect and planner by profession and an early researcher and advocate of sustainable development, Benny lived, worked and ate his way through Europe, Africa, South-East Asia, North America and the Caribbean. His belief in the need for change for a better world propelled him into civic action and community engagement. He loved his community and over the years he volunteered thousands of hours working with community organizations. We are lucky to have had Benny as a part of our Slow Food in Canada team. In 2005 he established Slow Food Elora, then co-chaired the convivium until it merged with Guelph to form Slow Food Guelph Wellington. Benny has also been a board member for Slow Food in Canada since 2015.
Benny’s positive spirit, generosity and love of storytelling touched hundreds of people involved in Slow Food locally, nationally and internationally. At National Summits or Terra Madre, you could always find Benny making new friends by sharing food and drinks, laughing and smiling away. Benny often joked about how he belonged with the Slow Food Youth Network and he spent a lot of time making sure that younger generations were included in Slow Food events.
“Benny has always been a great and passionate supporter of Slow Food projects and campaigns in Canada and around the world, said Paolo Di Croce, Slow Food Secretary General. Just a few months ago, he organized and hosted the National Summit of the Slow Food in Canada network, demonstrating once again his warm hospitality, his passion and desire to support the great challenges of Slow Food to create a better world: a good, clean and fair world for all”.
Likewise, Heather Pritchard, Chair of Slow Food in Canada saw that »Benny personified ‘Joy and Justice’. He gave generously of his time, his money and his spirit. I speak for all of us in Slow Food in Canada when I say – ‘We will miss you so much’, but promise to carry it forward where you left off ».