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Massimo Bottura at the 2012 Olympics. Image credit: Dino Panato/Getty

Michelin-Starred Chef to Bring His Soup Kitchen Concept to the U.S.

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Massimo Bottura at the 2012 Olympics. Image credit: Dino Panato/Getty

Massimo Bottura is one of the more respected chefs in the culinary community: His restaurant, Osteria Francescana, has earned three Michelin stars and the coveted number one spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. When he isn’t feeding affluent gastro-tourists at his Modena, Italy restaurant, Bottura is finding ways to use leftovers to feed the hungry.

One of those ways is through Refettorio Gastromtiva. The idea behind the Refettorios is simple: Chefs use surplus products from supermarkets and catering companies that would otherwise go to waste in order to create healthy and delicious meals for the community. After finding success in Italy, the initiative came to Rio’s Olympic Village last year to repurpose whatever food the athletes didn’t eat and serve it to those in need.

Since Refettorio Gastromtiva premiered at the Milan Expo in 2015, more than 15,000 meals have been served through the soup kitchen organization. Now, City Lab reports that Bottura is bringing his concept to the U.S. for the first time, thanks to a $500,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Food for Soul, the nonprofit behind the model, is hoping to open Refettorios in at least two U.S. cities by 2019. Miami, New Orleans, Detroit, and New York—all home to populations struggling with food insecurity—are a few of the candidates being considered.

As with previous Refettorios, the organizers behind the U.S. locations will need to find spaces big enough to house bulky kitchen equipment and crowds of diners. An inviting interior is just as important as the food, as the soup kitchens will double as community centers. Food for Soul said in a release, “With help from designers, architects, and artists, each Refettorio will become an inspiring space that promotes well-being.”

[h/t City Lab]

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7 Ways You Can Help Hurricane Irma Victims
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Want to assist Hurricane Irma victims? Instead of raiding your closets and pantries for clothing, food, and blankets, the Center for International Disaster Information recommends donating cash, rather than material goods, to carefully vetted relief organizations. Or, consider donating your time by either opening your home to evacuees or helping to rebuild ravaged towns and cities. Here are just a few ways you can lend a hand.

1. HELP PUERTO RICO REBUILD HOMES.

Hundreds of Puerto Rico residents lost their homes in the storm, and many have been stranded without power. Local nonprofit ConPRmetidos is raising money to rebuild houses and provide on-the-ground relief and aid to hurricane victims.

2. SUPPORT RELIEF EFFORTS IN BOTH THE CARIBBEAN AND THE U.S.

Convoy of Hope, a faith-based, nonprofit organization based in Springfield, Missouri, is sending food, water, and emergency supplies to Hurricane Irma survivors in both the U.S. and the Caribbean, and continues to support Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Donate $10 to their #HurricaneIrma response by texting "IRMA" to 50555.

3. LIST YOUR HOME ON AIRBNB.

Homeowners in the Florida Panhandle, northern Georgia, and northwest and southeast South Carolina can open their doors to Irma evacuees and relief workers for free by marking them available on Airbnb's Irma page until September 28, 2017.

4. VOLUNTEER WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY.

Good with a hammer, and want to help out for the long haul? Sign up on Habitat for Humanity’s Hurricane Recovery Volunteer Registry, or donate to help rebuild homes destroyed by Irma.

5. DONATE TO THE FLORIDA DISASTER FUND.

Irma weakened into a tropical storm as it tore through Florida, but cities are still flooded, and millions are now without power. The Florida Disaster Fund, which is the State of Florida’s official private disaster recovery fund, accepts donations for response and recovery efforts, and also has a list of resources (including open shelters) available online. 

6. HELP ANIMALS BY DONATING TO THE SOUTH FLORIDA WILDLIFE CENTER.

Support injured or orphaned animals by donating to the South Florida Wildlife Center in Fort Lauderdale, which is billed as the nation’s highest-volume wildlife hospital, trauma center, and rehabilitation facility.

7. GIVE TO THE UNITED WAY.

The United Way of Miami-Dade is requesting donations on behalf of the support organization's locations in all hurricane-ravaged areas. Relief funds can be directed to either Hurricane Irma or Hurricane Harvey.

JUST REMEMBER...

Donations often pour in right in the aftermath of a natural disaster, but charities are still going to need your long-term financial support as afflicted communities continue to recover from Irma. Consider giving money over the course of a few weeks or months, instead of just a one-time payment.

And before donating, vet the credentials of nonprofits on websites like Charity Navigator or GuideStar (although they may not list smaller, community-based organizations). In this case, the Federal Trade Commission has a list of tips for giving. They include never sending cash or wiring money, doing some background research on the organization, and even calling them if necessary.

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Lists
10 Ways You Can Help Hurricane Harvey Victims
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Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Want to lend a helping hand to Texans in need, but don't know where to start? Here are just a few ways you can make a difference in the aftermath of the destructive storm.

1. DONATE TO THE TEXAS DIAPER BANK.

The Texas Diaper Bank is requesting money and diaper donations to provide displaced families with emergency diaper kits. (Diapers often aren’t provided by disaster relief agencies.) Visit their donation page here.

2. LIST YOUR HOME ON AIRBNB.

Airbnb has waived service fees for evacuees who check in before September 1, 2017, and the site is also connecting people in need with volunteer hosts. Find a place to stay, or offer your space for free here.

3. LEND YOUR TIME, MONEY, AND EXTRA PET SUPPLIES TO RESCUE ANIMALS.

Austin Pets Alive—which has rescued hundreds of abandoned and shelter pets from flood-stricken areas—currently needs money, dog and cat fosters able to keep animals through adoption, and supplies like cat litter, large plastic or metal bins, and liquid laundry soap. For more information, click here.

Other animal groups in need include the SPCA of Texas, Dallas Animal Services, and the San Antonio Humane Society.

4. DONATE TO A LOCAL FOOD BANK.

The Galveston County Food Bank, the Houston Food Bank, and the Corpus Christi Food Bank all accept online donations.

5. GIVE BLOOD.

Hospitals in Texas are reportedly facing blood shortages. If you’re local, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and Carter BloodCare are seeking blood donations.

6. DONATE TO THE SALVATION ARMY.

The Salvation Army will offer both immediate and long-term disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey victims. Make a single donation here, or arrange to make a recurring monthly donation.

7. BROWSE GOFUNDME FOR CREATIVE WAYS TO DONATE.

Help out families, charities, animals, relief organizations, and other small groups by visiting GoFundMe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief page and donating to a fundraising campaign.

8. HELP OUT DISASTER RESPONSE GROUP PORTLIGHT.

Disaster response organization Portlight provides medical equipment, shelter, and evacuation assistance to people with disabilities. Find out how you can help here.

9. BUY A COLORING BOOK.

Contribute to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund for libraries damaged by the storm. Donate here, or purchase a TLA coloring book instead. A set of two costs $10, and all proceeds benefit the relief fund.

10. GIVE MONEY TO THE RED CROSS.

Text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also visit redcross.org, or call 1- 800-RED CROSS.

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