As temperatures drop, a Brno restaurant owner proposes aid scheme to get more food to the homeless

The recent bout of freezing cold weather, with temperatures dropping to minus fifteen degrees at night, has highlighted the plight of the country’s homeless. Shelters are bursting at the seams, and charity organizations are handing out hot soup and tea to help warm those unfortunate enough to have to spend their days – and sometimes nights - on a park bench. Now one restaurant owner has come up with a proposal that might make a difference.

Richard Hošek who owns a restaurant in the Moravian city of Brno has come up with a proposal that might ease the plight of the city’s homeless and give at least some of them one square meal a day. Inspired by a scheme in Germany, he is offering to donate whatever is left of the day’s ready-made meals.

“There are always ten to twenty portions of the day’s hot meals left unsold, just in our restaurant. I am talking about quality food not left-overs. Tons of good food get thrown out daily. Like last week we had roast duck, sauerkraut and dumplings – five portions of that were left and I took them home to give to my dogs.”

There are around 1,500 homeless people in the city of Brno and approximately 850 restaurants. Mr. Hošek says that if they all took part in the scheme there would be one good hot meal a day for all the homeless in Brno. Some have shown an interest, others are undecided. For the project to be successful it would need to the town hall to coordinate the aid and take care of logistics. The city’s deputy mayor Daniel Rychnovský says that he’s ready to support it –if there are enough restaurants willing to take part.

“It is an excellent idea. First we would have to get a network of restaurants and hotels involved and then – if they are willing – secure a car and driver to make the rounds every day and get the food to someone who would distribute it – such as the Salvation Army, for instance.”