Homeless getting a hand from volunteers during the Olympics

Celebrity chefs from all around the world made a change in Rio by cooking for homeless people with the food the Olympics thought of as a waste after the games.


While one third of food produced in the world is wasted, millions of people stay hungry everyday and live in constant food insecurity. Refettorio Gastromotiva is an initiative brought to Brazil by chefs Massimo Bottura (Food for Soul), David Hertz (Gastromotiva) and by the journalist Ale Forbes to contribute to fighting food waste, malnutrition and social exclusion. Refettorio - in latin Reficere - means recuperate and restore. At the Refettorio Gastromotiva recuperating food will be be just as important as promoting and restoring the dignity of people.

This is a huge initiative if we reckon how much was required to feed more than 18,000 Olympic athletes and other co-participants in the Rio Games, three times a day.

The official launch day for this amazing project was the 9th of August along with the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Just as it is stated in the Refettorio Gastromotiva website: “Refettorio Gastromotiva will bring nourishment, culture and dignity for all, in a place full of art. With its launch during the Olympic Games, we want it to become a legacy for the city. It will work as a restaurant-school with invited chefs and young talents from Gastromotiva cooking with surplus ingredients. We will offer free dinner for vulnerable populations and, from October on, lunch for the the public, under the ‘pay for lunch, leave dinner paid” concept.”

Refettorio Gastromotiva is the name of the project, and the meaning of it, is dining hall in Italian.

All the participants, including artists and chefs hope this will be the opportunity to change the perspective about hunger all around world for a better one.

Everyone involved in Gastromotiva for the Rio Olympics travelled from multiple places like California, Germany and Japan to help with the initiative.

The owner and main chef of one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants .Mr. Bottura expresses: “I thought, this is an opportunity to do something that can make a difference, this is not just a charity; it’s not just about feeding people, this is about social inclusion, teaching people about food waste and giving hope to people who have lost all hope.”

The ingredients came from donations and from everything that would have be thrown otherwise. Moreover the volunteers make meals for 70 homeless people a day and work in shifts.

Alex Atala D.O.M.’ s owner, one of Brazil’s top-rated restaurants was also a volunteer.

Mr. Atala said “The astounding deluge of international support was born of seemingly unrelated global movements: the growing awareness of food waste, the rise of the celebrity chef and widespread frustration over the persistence of hunger in even the most developed countries.”

“We are a generation of young chefs who are not competing with each other, but who want to share,” Mr. Atala, 48, said.

This is not Mr. Bottura’s first project into culinary philanthropy.

Places like Milan and Mexico city have already had the pleasure of receiving a huge heart man, along with his collaborator David Hertz, Brazilian philanthropic chef.

The last one with an incredible success that has reached the TED talks and the World Economic forum.

Nine months before the beginning of the Rio Games the work had already started for these two superhumans. They had a difficult task to fill, $250,000 had to be raised.

They finally made it, and not only that, they will keep doing it, by cooking paid meals that are going to cover the one from a part of the homeless population in Rio.

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