Full belly, happy heart

The project aims to develop in the city of Wroclaw a social assistance service for the homeless, families with economic difficulties and the elderly from marginalized urban areas, in order to actively respond to the problems of inequality and food waste present in the area, aggravated by the current health emergency situation. The main idea is to create a solidarity project that reuses food, removed from sale and destined for disposal, to organize a social kitchen capable of preparing and distributing one hot meal a week. In the initial phase, it is essential to develop a cooperation network with organizations that already apply this type of “food-saving” method (Food Bank, Caritas) in order to test the effectiveness and problems of this initiative as soon as possible.

Following a careful research it was possible to understand that during the weekends there is no official help from public institutions in the area, all social canteens open to the poor run from Monday to Friday, it is therefore necessary to promote and establish an easy-to-access distribution point to continue this type of assistance. In this project the relashionship with the patners is very important: the patnership is going to be solidified through a series of informative meeting to understand Wroclaw’s current situation and develop a good overwiew of the territory. Aim of the project is to promote active citizenship about the topic of food waste, as well to sensitize companies in the food sector to collaborate more frequently in initiatives of this type. We will also create a social space open to different types of ideals in improving this idea of a community canteen, starting with the collection and distribution of food packages up to a real point of social integration.

“During my experience as a social educator, I learned to recognize the potential of simple but well-structured projects, which seek to improve a situation with an urgent problem and the positive effect it can generate within a community. I remember with great affection the last volunteer project I carried out in Ecuador in 2019, a development section was aimed at the poor in the neighborhood with a medical, psychological and social assistance program. With my group we had to cook a meal for about 70 people, prepare the canteen before lunch time, welcome the poor and start with the service. Basically it was nothing new or complicated and the actions were monotonous, people were almost always the same and after the food everyone went back to their routine. If one analyze it from this point of view it is difficult to glimpse constructive and original help from the project, but over time I have come to understand that a simple but frequent and direct action is much more useful than a meticulous idea that wants to solve everything but that he lacks organization and clarity in the way he works. The gratitude that these people showed for our daily effort allowed us to create a friendship relationship even outside the working context, breaking down that hypocritical barrier of charity. Until today I can remember not only the names but also the life stories behind every face of those present who attended the canteen and I believe that the real result, for projects of this type, is to be able to give back a sense of humanity and equality to people who have not had the same opportunities as others and who have indulged in destructive processes.”

Bryan Rodríguez

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