Pizza for All: Solidarity in San Frediano & New York

Monday is pasta, Tuesday is stew and Saturday is pizza. San Frediano, one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods in Florence according to Lonely Planet, has rediscovered its spirit of solidarity with some its residents running to the rescue of those who, due to Coronavirus, no longer have enough money to eat. It started with an initiative by several Florentine restaurateurs who decided to help those in need––all of whom are involved in the association “Nuovo Rinascimento.” The first step was to gather the basic necessities, and then create a chain of solidarity. 

“When I received the message from a single mother with two children who was not currently working due to the COVID-19 lockdown,” explains Lapo Lapi, president of “Nuovo Rinascimento” and owner of the Casa Lapi restaurant – I knew there was no time to waste.”

The machine of solidarity started in less than a week. The list of clubs and restaurants who are offering to prepare hot meals is only increasing: “La Vecchia Bettola and Il Giuscio will cook on Monday, ditto for Santa Rosa bistro on Tuesday, and so forth.” On Saturday April 4, for example, Neromo “prepared up to 250 pizzas, each delivered with a bottle of water,” said Lapi.

“Home deliveries are made in compliance with hygiene and safety standards by members of the non-profit organization Laboratorio Diladdarno and inhabitants of San Frediano – explains Gianluca Guidi, owner of Neromo – who all use gloves, sanitizers, and wear masks.” 

Through word of mouth, the list of families offering to help grows hour by hour––a sign that the Coronavirus emergency has created a profound sense of solidarity. “We are working to extend this solidarity movement beyond the borders of San Frediano,” explains Lapo Lapi who also said the following to his colleagues: “Hunger is international, it knows no boundaries. I received calls from Prato and other cities offering to help us extend the initiative. It would be nice to help not only those in need throughout Florence, but beyond, as well.”  (elizabeth berry)

A similar initiative, a non-profit called “ItaliansFeedAmerica” has just started in New York City, uniting chefs. restaurant owners, producers and distributors to cook and deliver hot meals and distribute food to New Yorkers in difficulty during the Coronavirus pandemic.

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.