We’ve got great news! In recent months Food for Soul has been in talks with The Rockefeller Foundation who has been impressed by Food for Soul’s work to combat food waste in support of social inclusion. The Foundation has now confirmed it will support Food for Soul, both financially and with expertise, in expanding its impact sustainably. This includes taking our model of community kitchens, the Refettorios, to the United States.
By 2019, we hope to have set up Refettorios in at least two US cities. Food for Soul will be spending the coming year scoping out opportunities in US locations before finding local community partners to support each project. The first cities we are considering include New York, Miami, New Orleans and Detroit.
Like Food for Soul’s previous projects, we plan that our Refettorios in the US will act as social hubs where surplus ingredients can be transformed into nutritious meals offered to vulnerable community members. We will also invite aspiring young chefs from the community to expand their culinary talents by working in the kitchen. With help from designers, architects and artists, each Refettorio will become an inspiring space that promotes well-being.
We are extremely excited to have the support of Rockefeller – a foundation with a proud history of promoting worldwide initiatives linked to wellbeing and social resilience. In 2016, the foundation launched YieldWise, committing $130 million to tackling global food waste projects, and has also recently funded a feature-length documentary called WASTED! The Story of Food Waste.
Speaking about the new partnership, Rajiv Shah, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, said; “A Food for Soul network across the US will help us to feed more people with the food we have and offer a new model for addressing urban poverty through social inclusion. I’m thrilled the Foundation is supporting this effort.”
We are sure that with our previous experience and Rockefeller’s backing, Food for Soul will be able to set a new standard for our Refettorio projects. As our founder, chef Bottura, summarised; “We are thrilled to have The Rockefeller Foundation’s support in working towards a greater and stronger sustainable impact and to introduce Food for Soul’s successful Refettorio model to America.”