All through the week, Ferdinando’s in Lower main Road accepts donations of pasta and tinned tomatoes. The cooking begins on Wednesdays and dinner is served at St Michael’s Church in the evening. This initiative is volunteer driven and run by Kimmon Bisogno and Diego Milesi of Ferdinando’s and Art of Living volunteers. Obs Pasta Kitchen has been featured on Expresso
More than providing a meal, they believe in creating connections with the people on the street and developing a long term strategy to elevate their lives.
A known dilemma is that handouts solve short term problems, but perpetuate long term ones. To truly help the homeless, our goal should be to empower these people to help themselves. So while the Obs Pasta Kitchen solves the short term problem of hungry bellies, they have a higher purpose and long term plan. The Obs Pasta Kitchen is not just about handouts. This is more than a plate of food but an introduction to a long lasting relationship.
“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime.”
Volunteers are encouraged to sit and engage with the dinner guests. They offer emotional support and an ear to listen, with the aim of discovering how to help more. As Kimon says, “It’s about acknowledging the coexistence of each other in the community. It’s about giving those, who are often ignored, the time of day and the dignity we all deserve. We want to understand the issues at play, how we can help, what skills we can share, and how we can get these people off the street one phase at a time.”
The Obs Pasta Kitchen offers a plate of food with a side-helping of hope for a better future.