Pope Francis said: “When we are generous in welcoming people and sharing something with them – some food, a place in our homes, our time – not only do we no longer remain poor: we are enriched.”
We couldn’t agree more with this saying. That is why Martino has joined the PASTO SOSPESO initiative of CASETTA ROSSA in Rome. There, in collaboration with the famous novelist ERRI DE LUCA and CHEF RUBIO, we donate meals to people in need.
In this act of solidarity we stay accountable to our commitment not only to produce food of the highest quality but to bring people together over dishes made with love and generosity as required by the true Italian tradition.
“Suspended meal” comes from “caffè sospeso”
The tradition of a “caffè sospeso” or a pending coffee is more than 100 years old. It all began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone who had experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees, but receiving and consuming only one. It was an act of generosity and gratefulness. A person in need later could ask whether there was a sospeso available and would then be served a coffee for free.
The caffè sospeso has been identified as a symbol of grassroots social solidarity, prompting its revival in response to the 2008 recession and financial crisis in Europe and has spread all over the continent and in many major cities.
Suspended Meals at Casetta Rossa
On 2 February 2017 La Casetta Rossa, together with Chef Rubio and Erri De Luca, launched a campaign that incorporates this old Neapolitan custom of “caffè cospeso” and upgrades this practice of solidarity into the gift of a real meal instead of a cup of coffee. A great contribution to improving the living conditions of many people in difficulty.
The space of the “Small red House” (La Casetta Rossa) is animated by a large group of people who day after day contribute to build the conditions for a better world. The pending meal is made possible due to the donations, work and contributions of citizens, activists, volunteers and organizations that share the same vision. People in the neighborhood, homeless people and immigrants have the possibility to get a free meal, made with love and care.
Martino has donated a quantity of Couscous that exceeds 16,000 meals supporting full-heartedly Casetta Rossa in its mission. Meals that we are sure will be prepared by chef Rubio, the local volunteers and cooks with passion and authentic Italian taste.
A meal that gives hopes for bigger change
One meal at a time, one person in need at a time, one active citizen at a time – Casetta Rossa (the self-managed social space located in Garbatella in the VIII Town Hall in Rome) has given rise to many political, social and cultural initiatives. Such are: a public wood-fired oven that can be used by all the community members, activities for children, theater workshops, acting or bakery classes, photography courses and even walking and cycling excursions to Rome and Lazio to get acquainted with the historical sites and well-known neighborhoods.
However, that is not all. Book presentations, film screenings and debates are organized. Casetta Rossa is also self-managing the Parco Cavallo Pazzo, a park near Casetta, rebuilding and redeveloping it day by day to make it more accessible and inclusive. Creating a community space open for all the inhabitants of the neighborhood, young and old.
Martino is active in the social field
We are firm believers that bringing people together over dishes of warm, delicious and healthy food made with care and love can change the world. The transformative power of food together with the will of active citizens, give us hope for a future of solidarity. It also re-assures us that we are also contributing every day, in every way that we can, to build a stepping stone in achieving that future.
Every family deserves to have healthy and nutritious food on their table, and we all have the responsibility to help make that happen. Not only for those who can afford it but also for those who cannot. This is the nature of our company: a century-old tradition of high quality products but also of upright values.
This is why we are proud to have joined ERRI DE LUCA and CHEF RUBIO to help the PASTO SOSPESO initiative of CASETTA ROSSA grow and thrive.