Prague Cafés, Bistros and NGO Work Together to Provide Food to Homeless People

You can support the health of people in need and your favorite café at the same time with a small gesture! If you’ve ever thought about supporting homeless people, now is the time.

“People experiencing homelessness are an especially vulnerable group in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sleeping rough or staying in temporary or emergency accommodation puts them at a high risk of transmission and compromises their access to hygiene and isolation spaces,” explains Ester Paclt, founder of Místní místním (Locals for Locals) an NGO that strives to connect small businesses, professional providers of social services and the public in offering direct help towards people in need.

“Right now during the crisis of COVID-19, we started cooking quality meals for shelters for homeless people in Prague. Your contribution will also support Prague cafés and bistros that have decided to cook for them. That will help those local businesses to get through the following weeks, as many of them have no income in this situation. Kavárna Pražírna, Bistro Střecha, Potrvá, and Family Coffee & bistro already joined our project,” adds Ester

The initiative is called Jídlo pro lidi bez domova (Food for the Homeless), and you can support it at this link.

“We have four shelters in Prague. The largest one is in Žižkov and has a capacity of 51 people. The biggest challenge is isolating them and keep a social distance. This is difficult for both them and the staff. In addition to what we normally provide (accommodation, hygiene, cooking facilities, laundry), we also try to supply food and minimize the movement of our hosts outside the shelters,” says Gabriela Sčotková from NADĚJE organization.

In cooperation with the City of Prague, NADĚJE opened a humanitarian camp on Císařská louka with a capacity of 60 tents. In addition to beds, homeless people can find a dining room, showers, and toilets.

Since the end of March, 1107 portions of hot food have been distributed to homeless people in cooperation with different companies and Místní místním project. “We cook either soups that we actually have in our menu, or classics like goulash, and chicken paprikash,” says Vanda from Pražírna.

“The shelters asked us if we could deliver mainly meat dishes. We generally cook potato dumplings with smoked meat and cabbage, gnocchi with bolognese sauce, beef goulash with homemade dumplings,” adds Tereza from Potrvá.

Czech citizens are also helping to finance the project. 150 people have already provided lunches for the homeless for four weeks.

“We want to provide each shelter with at least two full meals a week,” says Pacltová. “We started with 250 lunches a week, then we expanded our services to about 330 servings per week,” she says.

“We are happy that we can provide quality food to homeless people in our shelters and at the same time support food businesses. By providing us these services, we also minimize the movement of homeless people in public places, and reduce the risk of infection,” she adds.

“We have already collected almost 90 thousand CZK. Our weekly costs are between 30 and 39 thousand CZK. Thanks to several donations, public contributions, and one private company, we can continue our work,” concludes Pacltová.

Místní místním is participating in a competition for social innovations. If you like their project, you can vote for them following this link.

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