Ever wonder who is the group that serves delicious food in front of Sociales? The ones serving you chicken in guava sauce only for $5 dollars? Those students and nonprofit workers call their initiative “Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico.” Their mission is to feed the hungry college students while providing experiences to grow and educate ourselves.
“Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico”, Giovanni Roberto expressed, “…came as an attempt to give identity to a reality that started to happen when we started doing the tables. Us, the founders, have a different social vision, you could say anti-capitalist in essence. We believe that the capitalist society has a problem which is capitalism itself. Inequality. A society based on profit and we wanted to create something different. We could not make a business, it was not an alternative for us. Therefore, we decided to create a social project and in that sense we began to make the food; people could give a recommended donation of $5 dollars or help at the tables.”
This social project is part of a nonprofit organization named “Centro para el Desarrollo Político, Educativo y Cultural”, created in 2012. This organization has the objective of generating opportunities of social transformation, personal growth, and awareness. “Comedores Sociales” is a way of accomplishing the mission through food, by providing a source of food at the university and education of the food phenomenon occurring in the country and problem of food insecurity. Giovanni stated that the main objective is “Creating an experience where the person is educated and motivated to transform.”
“Comedores Sociales” also tries to take care of the environment. They provide the option of using non-disposable plates. By providing this option, the foam plate intake is reduced. In addition, it creates a dynamic that the founders looked for: participation of the people. By cleaning the plates, the person takes a certain responsibility of his or her actions and it’s a way of contributing to the community.
The group is trying to improve the quality of the food provided, therefore, they started a garden. Giovanni stated that “Long term, if we can increase the things we use that we produce, we will cook with better quality and in a better price. In result, we can provide better food.” Moreover, the founders consider themselves activists, who believe that agriculture is a primordial aspect to the transformation of our country. Creating a garden, for them, is a way of reconnecting with the earth and our nature.
“Comedores Sociales” tries to help the community, but they also need your help. The most common way is to buy the food and promote them. They approximately start at 11am and they leave when the food ends. The usual menu is chicken in guava sauce, “arroz guisado”, fish, chop, salad, and “batalanga”. In addition, you can help by donating food, time, or a monetary contribution.
If you want to learn more about “Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico” or “Centro para el Desarrollo Politico, Educativo y Social” you can access their Facebook pages.