This is how I was able to fully understand the reach of the vision of Food for Soul, the non-profit in which the idea of refectories comes together and takes the form of a social and cultural project.
Every refectory is created with the goal of helping the community through the fight against food waste and social isolation.
Food for Soul was founded with the aim of encouraging public, private and non-profit organisations to create and support refectories all over the world, and engage professionals from a range of sectors, such as chefs, architects, producers and food distributors to promote and contribute to the creation of these alternative community projects.
They are alternative because thanks to the intervention of architects, designers and artists, the refectories are transformed into unique places, reflecting and enhancing the traditions and customs of the communities that host them.
Bottura believes in food, in culture and in art, and is strongly convinced that together, these three ingredients have the power to create a collective impact, to ensure the wellbeing of people and the health of the planet.
He uses the power of beauty, the value of hospitality, his love for food and the quality of ideas as tools to trigger social change.
Restoring is the guiding theme of the Food for Soul project.
Restoring everything that would be wasted, such as food, spaces, time, energy.
"This is not charity, it is culture", I have often heard Massimo repeat.
Culture that encourages a healthy, fair food system, I would like to add.
At mealtimes I have seen these spaces come alive, with the volunteers serving a hot meal with a smile to those who have nothing. A hot meal that nourishes, that makes us free and equal, that includes.
Because poverty is not only economic poverty, but also social isolation, and sharing a meal is first of all an opportunity for conviviality, exchange, humanity.
Eating and being served at the table, in a beautiful environment that is well looked-after, clean and welcoming, is part of a project with great humanity, where social inclusion restores dignity to those who thought they had lost it along with their job, home or the affection of their loved ones.