IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While the controversial opening of a
McDonald’s near the Vatican may not have all local residents singing, “I’m
lovin’ it,” the popular fast food chain is trying to do its part in the
neighborhood by helping the poor and the hungry.
“Medicina Solidale” (“Solidarity
Medicine”) announced Jan. 12 that it is joining forces with McDonald’s and
the papal almoner’s office, which gives the pope’s charitable aid to the
homeless around the Vatican, to distribute 1,000 meals to poor men and women
who often find shelter in and around St. Peter’s Basilica.
Starting Jan. 16, volunteers from the charitable
organization will distribute a specially prepared menu for the poor; it
includes a double cheeseburger, fresh apple slices and a bottle of water.
Lucia Ercoli, director of “Medicina Solidale,” said
that the organization plans to distribute 100 meals a week for 10 consecutive
Mondays. The program, she added, is “the beginning of a dialogue”
with McDonald’s to expand in the future.
“It is truly a small drop in an ocean of things being done
by so many other associations, by so many people who spend their time helping
others,” Ercoli said Jan. 12 in an interview with Vatican Radio.
In a statement announcing the deal, Ercoli noted that the
fast food chain “quickly responded” to the proposal “to donate
meals to those who live on the streets in the area of St. Peter’s.”
Noting her organization’s longtime collaboration with the
papal almoner in providing medical care for the homeless, Ercoli said the new
agreement will ensure that the poor also are provided with some much-needed
“With these meals, we’ll make a significant leap in
providing so many women and men who live on the street in this neighborhood the
possibility of a meal that will guarantee a suitable intake of proteins and
vitamins for them,” she said.
– – –
Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.
– – –
Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at email@example.com.