Olympics Helps Combat Hunger in Rio

by Bob Hughes on August 18, 2016

Bob Hughes · Small Actions · August 18, 2016

Pendulum in Action, small actions, helping the hungryNews surrounding the Olympic Games in Rio has included, of course, the tremendous performances of world-class athletes, but also accusations of doping, incidents of bad sportsmanship and the problems of hosting an elite event in a city, and nation, that remains beset by poverty and hunger.

But thankfully, as top athletes have had access to a surplus of food during the Olympics, some chefs have risen to the challenge like champions themselves. An initiative to make smarter use of food has been started there, by Italian chef Massimo Bottura (who runs the celebrated restaurant Osteria Fracescana, in Modena, Italy, which was voted top restaurant in the world by culinary experts) and Brazilian chef David Hertz, the founder of Gastromotiva and one of the principal leaders of the Social Gastronomy Movement in Brazil and worldwide. The chefs and their staffs have been preparing some 5,000 meals for the poor every day, using otherwise fresh ingredients that the athletes and their coaches didn’t eat, that would have been tossed out.

The chefs’ initiative, RefettoRio Gastromotiva, is helping the hungry at a time when the world’s attention is more on the overachievers than the needy. And the program will continue past the Olympics, into the Paralympic Games in Rio (and, one hopes, well beyond, in some form or another, at restaurants around the city).

Here is a video describing the efforts:

According to an article in the British newspaper, the Independent not only is the initiative helping hunger in the short term, the chefs and their staff “will also provide vocational training for aspiring restaurant professionals, including cooks, bakers, and servers.”

This could mean new job opportunities for people in a country struggling to regain its economic foothold after recent political turmoil.


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