Jul 01, 2013

    Italy's soup kitchens go gourmet

    IN A gritty Rome neighbourhood, a soup kitchen is serving up gourmet food donated by a famous delicatessen.

    "Of course, it's good! This is a VIP soup kitchen. We get a first course, second course and dessert. It's like a trattoria," Mr Alessandro, a homeless Moldovan builder, said as he finished his sorbet in the San Benedetto parish canteen.

    Organisers of the project entitled "Pasto Buono" ("Good Meal") contact gourmet grocers and restaurants which throw out scraps and day-old food, and put them in touch with organisations that run soup kitchens like Catholic charity association Caritas.

    Volunteers said former middle-class Italians who have been hit hard by the government's austerity measures are among the "new poor" coming to soup kitchens, while immigrants who used to attend have since left the country.