Social Tables Made in Cloister
Piazza Enrico de Nicola, 48 80139 Naples, Italy
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The Social Tables Made in Cloister were launched in December 2018, thanks to the collaboration between Food for Soul and Fondazione Made in Cloister, to offer a welcoming and nourishing dinner service to individuals and families from the local community in Naples who are experiencing social vulnerability and isolation.
Every Monday night, guests are welcomed in the beautiful spaces of the ex-convent of S. Caterina a Formiello, a sixteenth-century church turned into a centre for art and creativity. The space is managed by the Fondazione Made in Cloister, whose mission is to activate sustainable development processes in the area through different forms of art, handicraft and food. In the logic of a cultural project in which ethics and aesthetics meet, both the wooden furniture – 3 long tables – and the ceramic plates were designed by Italian artist Mimmo Paladino and realised by local artisans to inspire togetherness and community spirit.
The project is located in a neighborhood of great historical value: through the centuries, Porta Capuana has been one of the city’s main gateways welcoming and restoring travellers coming from outside Naples.
Guests are welcomed every Monday at dinnertime by a team of volunteers, including young students from the Institute Isabella d’Este Caracciolo. Chefs from Naples and Campania region are called to cook them a three-course meal starting from surplus ingredients donated by Carrefour. Their unique knowledge and creativity help us to highlight the real value of neglected food.
By offering a nourishing dinner service in a warm and welcoming space that will stay open to the whole neighborhood, the Social Tables Made in Cloister want to celebrate the cultural, artistic and gastronomic value of Porta Capuana while becoming a platform for change and community resilience.
Rodrigo Ottoni, kitchen volunteer at Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio de Janeiro, told us about his greatest passion: cooking. “There are no words to describe it”, he says. Here’s the secret to escaping the routine of everyday life: do what you love, do it for yourself, and do it for others.
“You can see it in their eyes, they have so much to give. If you feel accepted and welcome, you respect the city, its streets, the community as a whole; and we all benefit from it, because they would care for the city as if it were their own.” Anna Soresina, volunteer at Social Tables Ghirlandina, told us that “human beings need more” than just food.