Latter-day Saints help serve hot meals in a Rome charity kitchen

For more than thirty years, the Scalabrinian parish charity kitchen called Parrochia del Santissimo Redentore in Rome, has been serving hot meals to homeless and vulnerable members of its local community.

Local parishioners gather food items from local stores and private donations. With the help of volunteers, five days a week, about 150 people are served and enjoy a hot meal daily.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donates funds to supplement what is needed to provide these meals. Missionaries and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints volunteer to prepare the dining room and serve meals one day each week. They greet visitors, serve the meals, then help with the cleanup.

During the Christmas season, Latter-day Saint church members and missionaries gave a little extra. For the adults, they prepared gift bags containing neck warmers, a chocolate bar, other small sweets, and a package of biscuits. Each child received a reusable bag filled with a toy and sweets.

Marie Paoletti, a volunteer at the charity kitchen said, 'In the 2016 earthquake I was there, I suffered. I lost everything. And this is why I want to give.'

When asked why he volunteered at the Soup Kitchen, Aldo, a helper there said, 'I like to help other people. I wanted to be a cook. This gives me something to be busy with. I know it’s a hard job, but when I go back home, I feel good.” He explained that anyone can cross the line to unemployment. “You lose your job, quickly you go on the other side.”

Effah Johnson from Ghana is one of the visitors who receives hot meals at the charity kitchen. A series of tragedies brought him to Italy as a refugee. Effah is grateful for the charity kitchen and to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for supporting them. When Effah receives bread with his meals, he saves it to eat on the weekends. On Sundays he eats his bread and prays to thank God that he has something to eat. Effah sleeps on the ground. He has a spot where he is out of the wind and rain. It is hard for an old man to sleep on the ground, but it is easier with food in your stomach.

Thanks to ongoing donations and the involvement of volunteers, daily visitors to the Scalabrinian Parish Charity Kitchen will continue to receive warm meals that provide sustenance to those who have fallen on hard times.