TOY CAP PROJECT
Deborah and Gioele Balmelli | Switzerland
The way to your heart is through our cuisine at "Gassenkueche", 2019
"We see many homeless people every day and we want to help. Gassenkueche, in the heart of Zuerich, offers a warm meal in the evening and a place to rest and mingle with other homeless citizens of all ages and nationalities.
The first evening we go shopping with Hans. He knows the problems, as he was living on the streets himself for some time after losing his job. He got a second chance and now he cooks for others once a week. We buy salad, potatos and cheese, a very Swiss dish. We prepare the dinner with Hans and other helpers.
The doors open at 6.30pm. .. We smell them, before we see them. Men and women of all ages come in, warm up with tea and coffee and then we fill their plates with food. It seems they all talk at once, ask questions, tell stories and the room fills with noise and chatter. We are overwhelmed and don't have answers to all questions. Outside, they are mostly alone and next to a warm meal they enjoy the company and a pair of ears to listen.
At 10pm we close the doors. Some ask for extra bread for the next day, then they disappear into the cold night. We clean the kitchen, the rooms and the worst - the toilet. Then we leave to our apartment.. We are not hungry, we feel privileged to have each other, a warm home, a job, friends, a family and good health.
We learn so much that first day at "Gassenkueche".. With chf 120.- you can feed 42 people. There are no vegetarians or vegans.. They are grateful for what they get, they gossip like anybody else, they all had a life before they got homeless... These are people who matter?"
Gioele and Debbie will go back once a month because they care. They want to learn more and hear different life stories.