Cafè Suspendu and Freego: Belgium solidarity projects

It is raining and it is very cold outside and the invisible people, the homeless are in the streets all the nights and days long, not only at Christmas time, but everyday of the year. Also in Belgium, that is well known for its cold weather, it is possible to see, next to rich and wealthy people, many poor people looking for a warm refuge. Walking around in Gent, in the Flanders, it is not difficult to see something unusual: a fridge in the middle of the street.


Soups and food are inside of the fridge with a particular notice “Freego”, free to go. Is it a fridge for free? Somebody asks. Not really. It is a fridge especially dedicated to homeless and students, from where they can have, for free, a fresh dish of the day prepared and left there for them. This idea comes just after the development of the “cafè suspendu” , “il caffè sospeso”, that it is a tradition in Naples, where coffee is often paid and offered to the following client in the bars, an habit that Belgium has now inherited. In restaurants, bars, cafes and fried chips shops buying your purchase you can choose to pay and offer a soup , a portion of fried chips, a sandwich or a coffee to people who cannot afford it. In exchange the person will receive a ticket to give to an homeless in the street who will have the right to receive the soup or the drink “in sospeso”.

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