“A Hot Meal” community project was initiated in Cluj-Napoca (Romania) by a group of volunteers, faculty from FSPAC, in 2013, coordinated by Cosmina Paul. After two years, volunteers from four cities from Romania (Cluj-Napoca, Bistrita, Satu Mare and Bucharest) prepare warm meals for those in need, and almost 20,000 meals were served so far to people suffering from hunger.
“A Hot Meal” idea is simple and straightforward. It calls for people to gather and cook a hot meal for persons suffering from hunger in their community. Everyone can volunteer, no matter what values motivate them: social responsibility, religion, political views or other. And everyone can have access to a hot meal regardless of their ethnicity, gender, nationality, religion, etc.
“The project runs on zero administrative costs, as there are no paid directors, staff, PR or HR assistants; the project is developed and implemented by volunteers and supported by the community. Thus, the project is inclusive in all respects. The first impact is that meals are there for those who suffer from hunger. Second, we build trust in the community and empathy towards those in need; at the same time, volunteers develop great involvement in the cause. Everyone in the community can easily relate to our cause, because each of us has experienced or might experience at one moment in time hunger.” (Cosmina Paul, project initiator)
Every week, in the FSPAC cafeteria, faculty and students cook together 60 to 100 meals for children coming from low-income families and/or homeless people from Cluj.