This is the sort of thing that gives me hope. From the CBC: Montreal restaurant serves up free meals to the hungry.
It’s barely noticeable to passersby, but a piece of paper taped to the door of Marché Ferdous, a small Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Montreal, has caught the attention of some Montrealers.
The sign, written in both English and French, reads, “People with no money welcome to eat for free.”
That goodwill gesture has won the restaurant, located at the corner of Ste-Catherine Street West and Mackay Street, a lot of praise online.
The restaurant’s co-owner, Yahya Hashemi, said they’ve been giving free meals to the hungry for about five months now. He added that they consider it as a business expense. [continue]
From The Independent: ‘Robin Hood’ cafe in Madrid is charging rich customers to give to the poor.
A cafe in Spain is charging customers by day, and using the proceeds to serve meals to homeless people free of charge at night.
The Robin Hood restaurant opened on a side street in central Madrid on Tuesday, operating a simple but unique business model.
At breakfast and lunchtime the initiative runs as an ordinary Spanish bar, selling coffee, croquetas, and cigarettes, before reopening in the evening as a restaurant, serving a sophisticated sit-down supper to people who cannot afford to pay. [continue]
The Guardian has a story on this place, too: Charge the ‘rich’ to feed the poor: Madrid’s Robin Hood homeless cafe.
What a fantastic idea.
From the Huffington Post: This Startup Gives Poor People A Year’s Income, No Strings Attached.
A person whom Teresa had never met showed up at her home one day with a remarkable offer. Teresa and her family would receive what amounted to a year’s income, in cash. Nothing was owed in return. She did not have to repay the money, and her family could spend it however they wished.
Teresa was at a loss. “We did not believe someone would give us that kind of money without having worked for it.” But then the money came.
This scenario has played out thousands of times. The organization behind the money, GiveDirectly, is not broadly known. (…)
Yet, dollar-for-dollar, analysts say GiveDirectly is among the most effective organizations in the world trying to eliminate extreme poverty. (…) And in the spirit of Silicon Valley, GiveDirectly’s work is data-driven and transparent in ways that are virtually unheard of in the aid world. For donors who want their giving based on evidence-backed results, few organizations compare. [continue]
Wow. I like the assumption that must be behind this model: poor people aren’t stupid, they’re just poor. So maybe they need money more than they need to be babysat by a social services agency. Just maybe.