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

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

Massimo Bottura at the 2012 Olympics. Image credit: Dino Panato/Getty
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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Animals
Atlanta Shelters Give Pups a Temporary Home for the Holidays
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The holidays are looking a little brighter for adoptable dogs from two animal shelters in Atlanta, Georgia. As ABC News reports, a new program called Home for the Pawlidays is providing temporary homes to longer-term residents of Fulton County Animal Services and DeKalb County Animal Services for the week of Thanksgiving.

The initiative was organized by Atlanta's LifeLine Animal Project, a local group dedicated to providing healthcare and homes to shelter dogs. The dogs that were chosen for the project may be older, have special health needs, or other issues that make it more difficult to find them forever homes.

But from November 18 to 25, the dogs are getting to spend time away from the shelter and in the homes of loving foster families.

“We were thinking, everyone gets a break from work, and they should get a break from the shelter,” LifeLine’s public relations director Karen Hirsch told ABC News.

Some caretakers have already fallen in love with their four-legged house guests. Foster Heather Koth told ABC that she hadn’t been considering adoption, but after meeting Missy the shelter dog, she now plans to foster her until she has a permanent home or possibly adopt the dog herself.

And for the dogs that can’t be kept by their temporary owners, just a week of quality playtime and sleeping in a real bed can make a huge impact. You can check out photos of the pets who are benefiting from the program this week below.

[h/t ABC News]

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This Just In
Kentucky City Lets Residents Pay Parking Tickets With Canned Goods
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Racking up parking fines? If you live in Lexington, Kentucky, you can pay off your tickets with canned food donations.

ABC 36 reports that, for the fourth year in a row, the city's “Food for Fines” program will help stock the shelves of God’s Pantry Food Bank—a member of Feeding America—throughout the holiday season. Beginning today, the city’s local parking authority is allowing residents with outstanding citations to donate preserved goods in lieu of cash through December 15.

Ten cans will get residents a $15 credit on any parking citation. And for drivers with a drawer-full of tickets, they can bring as many cans as they can carry to earn a $15 credit per 10-can donation. (Yes, even past due citations are eligible.)

"During the previous three years we have collected 24,500 cans of food, which is the equivalent of 12 tons or 16,000 meals,” Parking Authority executive director Gary Means said in a press release.

If you're planning on donating, make sure to check the date: Expired items won't be accepted.

[h/t ABC 36]  

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