Rome’s “Chef of the Poor”
Meet 90-year-old Dino Impagliazzo, a man with a passion for feeding the poor. For the past 15 years, he has dedicated his life to feed the poor and homeless in Rome including areas around the Vatican City in Italy.
A master chef in his own right, Impagliazzo who once worked in Italy’s social security department was inspired to pursue a greater cause after a homeless man asked him for money to buy a sandwich at a Rome train station.
As reported in The New York Post, Impagliazzo said, “I realized that perhaps instead of buying one sandwich, making some sandwiches for him and for the friends who were there would be better, and thus began our adventure”.
What an adventure it has been for Impagliazzo as he eventually founded RomAmoR (RomeLove), an organisation to create a greater impact by feeding more underprivileged people. Every week, Impagliazzo and other volunteers (some of whom are pensioners), spend three days to collect food contributions from food markets, bakeries and other retailers for distribution.
On Saturday nights, they even frequent the spot outside St Peter’s Square to feed the large numbers of homeless people who sleep in the area.
Impagliazzo has even inspired others to spread goodness as on the other four days, volunteers themselves cook the food in a professional kitchen for distribution around train stations and other places around the city – “We try to involve more and more people so that Rome becomes a city where people can love each other, you know?…. It’s solidarity”, he said.
Today, close to 300 volunteers of RomAmor, both young and old not only whip up sandwiches but also hot meals!
In recognition of his contribution, Impagliazzo was honoured with an award by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, regarding him as a “hero of our times.”
We salute you, Mr. Dino Impagliazzo!
*Featured image sourced from Reuters/The New York Post