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Refettorio Merida has become a safe space for the underprivileged in the local community.

Michelin star chef Massimo Bottura and his wife, Lara Gilmore joined Palace Resorts philanthropic organization, Fundación Palace on Instagram Live on June 10, 2021, to discuss their partnership and bring awareness to, Refettorio Merida. A little over a year since initially announcing the project in March of 2020, the two were set to inaugurate RM in person, right before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt. Virtually, the teams were able to showcase the progress RM has made in just a few short months.

Refettorrio Merida has become a staple in the local community, serving underprivileged groups. Both organizations are committed to changing the narrative locally to promote social progress and equitable food distribution. Since its soft official opening in November of 2020 and through countless donations and amazing volunteers, the Refettorio has safely served over 30,000 delicious meals and has been a safe space for those less fortunate, offering them not only a hot meal but a place where they can shower, get clean clothes and a haircut. The Refettorio is also used as an independent living space, helping young women who grew up in orphanages prepare for life through education.

Refettorio Mérida offers a daily lunchtime food service to vulnerable members of society by transforming surplus ingredients into delicious meals. Designed to be much more than a community kitchen, Refettorio Mérida is a colorful gathering space for the all. Located inside “Casa Santa Luisa,” a historic, colonial house that belonged to the Yucatecan philanthropist Pedro Canales, who was an advocate for social conscience and who decided to gift it to the Voluntarias Vicentinas de Yucatán AC.

Throughout the Instagram live, the Michelin star chef and his wife were truly amazed at the great things have been accomplished thus far at the Refettorio and are excited to visit and try the delicious cuisine the talented local chefs prepare Monday- Friday at the establishment. Additionally, Bottura mentioned future plans to officially inaugurate the Refettorio and host a special dinner locally to help raise money for Palace Foundation and their local causes. Before signing off, Bottura shared his favorite quote by Joseph Boise, “it’s not about one person, but collectively we can do much more. If we can’t change the world, we can change our neighbor. And if everyone did that, we’d make substantial change.”

If you would like to donate, please visit us at: www.refettoriomerida.org 

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