McVatican To Feed the Homeless
17 January 2017 at 11:09 am
Controversy surrounding the opening of a McDonald’s fast food outlet in the Vatican City within Rome may have softened after the burger giant joined with a charity to provide food for the local homeless population.
The new McDonald’s outlet, which has been dubbed “McVatican”, is collaborating with Italian not-for-profit organisation Medicina Solidale to provide “nutritional support for homeless people living in the region of San Pietro”, according to the charity.
McDonald’s opened in the Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic Church, to protests from residents and cardinals on 30 December 2016.
International media reports said the fast-food giant opened in a building on Borgo Pio belonging to the Holy See just metres from St Peter’s Square.
According to the charity, the collaboration will see its volunteers distribute over 1,000 meals to the homeless found living on the streets near the papal basilica.
“The distribution… in collaboration with the Apostolic Charities, will take place every Monday from 16 January 2017 in the St Peter’s Square area and the Via della Conciliazione, where many people live on the streets,” the director of Medicina Solidale, Lucia Ercoli said in a media statement.
“It will be the volunteers of Medicina Solidale who deliver [the] special meals. The menu includes a double cheeseburger, fresh cut apples in a bag and a bottle of water.
“I’m really pleased with this agreement with McDonald’s which promptly responded to our call to donate a meal to those who live in the street in the St Peter’s Square area. For some time we have cooperated with the Apostolic Charities to provide medical examinations and care to these people.”
Ercoli said the meals made a “quantum leap by providing so many women and men living in this neighborhood [with] the possibility of a meal that guarantees them an adequate intake of protein and vitamins”.
The charity was established in 2003 as a voluntary association and works in various areas on the outskirts of Rome with the socially disadvantaged and those excluded from health care.
The UK’s Independent online news has reported a statement from McDonald’s which emphasised that the new restaurant was in a popular tourist area outside the Vatican, although the building itself was Holy See property.
“As is the case whenever McDonald’s operates near historic sites anywhere in Italy, this restaurant has been fully adapted with respect to the historical environment,” the company said.