(Vatican Radio) The Office of Papal Charities this week helped out the earthquake-hit regions of central Italy at the express wish of Pope Francis, buying typical food products from local producers and distributing it to several soup kitchens in Rome.
Central Italy was hit by a powerful 6.3 magnitude quake in August 2016, which killed nearly 300 people. Other earthquakes have since caused major damage to the area.
Farmers and merchants in the affected areas have since suffered a drastic reduction in their revenues.
A communique from the Office of Papal Charities said the organization selected “several groups of farmers and producers at risk of closure because of the damages provoked by the earthquake” from which to buy alimentary products.
It said vendors were chosen in conjunction with Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti, Bishop Giovanni D'Ercole of Ascoli Piceno, Archbishop Francesco Giovanni Brugnaro of Camerino-San Severino Marche, and Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia.
“The Office of Papal Charities bought a large quantity of their products with the intention, expressed by the Holy Father, to help and encourage them in their activities. It is a gesture in line with the Magisterium of Pope Francis, who in his meetings has often said that ‘when a person does not earn their bread, their dignity is lost’”.
The food products bought in the name of the Pope were distributed to several soup kitchens in Rome to make meals for homeless people in need.
The Vatican supermarket currently sells products from the earthquake hit zones of central Italy, in an effort to help out the local economy.
(Devin Sean Watkins)