Senior Citizen Chefs in Empoli

While retirement can offer leisure and relaxation for some, the time off can bring loneliness and boredom for others. In effort to fill time with meaningfulness, a group of elderly volunteers have created “Let’s Lunch Together” (Progetto Pranzo Insieme) in Empoli.

Thanks to the initiative, a team of senior citizens works together in providing meals, alternating in shopping for groceries, preparation and cooking. Participants range in age and backgrounds, including Alessandro Bicchiera, a retired 86 year old butcher, and Rosanna Grappi, a 70 year old who had a career as a pastry chef.  The program provides a space where stories and time together can be shared.

Participating in lunch costs €3.50 for each meal. Camilla Cerbone, president of Ausser, a non-profit that sponsors “Let’s Lunch Together,” stresses, “we are not dealing with people with economic difficulties but simply with the elderly who want to stay in company of others.”

At the moment, more than 20 people meet for lunch also thanks to Empoli’s Pubblica Assistenza. “Lets Lunch Together” creates a common goal for participants of stimulating the mind, advancing creativity and the opportunity to enrich skills: at all ages. (izzy lunow)

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