Our story

How it started

Food for Soul was born out of an initial project undertaken by chef Massimo Bottura during the Expo 2015 in Milan. His personal response to the exhibition’s theme of ‘Feed the Planet’ was to create Refettorio Ambrosiano, recruiting well-known artists and designers to help transform an abandoned theatre in the suburbs of Milan into an inspiring community kitchen. More than 65 international chefs turned surplus ingredients collected from the exhibition’s pavilions into nutritious meals served to the homeless and people in need from the area.

The projects

Following this initial success, Food for Soul was established as a non-profit organisation as a way of replicating the model of Refettorio Ambrosiano and launch other projects. In April 2016, Massimo Bottura officially founded Food for Soul, and in the same year we went on to create the Social Tables project in Bologna.

In August 2016, for the Olympics, Food for Soul opened its first international project: Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio de Janeiro, converting surplus food from the Olympic Games in tasty and healthy meals. Back from Rio, Food for Soul established the Social Tables project in the same town of our headquarter: Modena, Italy.

Food for Soul’s next international launch will be Refettorio Felix in London in June 2017, while many more international projects are on the horizon in cities including Berlin and Los Angeles.

Our impact

Since we started, we have:
- Served ​16,100 meals. ​Out of these,​ 48,300 courses ​were free of charge
- Involved more than ​210 chefs​, both international and local, who have supported our projects by volunteering to cook in our community kitchens
- Welcomed approximately ​600 volunteers ​who ​have offered their time, skills and energy to serve meals and offering a unique experience to the people in need
- Saved ​approximately 25 tons of food surplus ​and transformed it into delicious and nutritious meals