Suspended meal

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Suspended Meal

A Suspended Meal or Pending Meal is a charitable tradition that originated in Naples, Italy. This practice involves someone purchasing a meal or drink in advance for a person who cannot afford to pay. The concept is based on the Italian tradition of caffè sospeso, which translates to "suspended coffee".

History[edit | edit source]

The tradition of the suspended meal dates back to the early 20th century in Naples. The practice began with the caffè sospeso, where a customer would pay for two coffees but only consume one, leaving the other "suspended" for a less fortunate individual to claim later. This act of generosity became a symbol of community solidarity and has since spread to other parts of the world.

Concept[edit | edit source]

The concept of a suspended meal is simple: when a customer at a café or restaurant pays their bill, they also pay in advance for a meal or drink. This pre-paid item is then recorded by the establishment and can be claimed by someone in need at a later time. The identity of the donor and recipient remain anonymous, preserving the dignity of the recipient.

Global Impact[edit | edit source]

The suspended meal concept has been adopted globally, with variations in different countries. In some places, tokens are given to donors, which can then be distributed to those in need. In others, a board or wall is used to display the number of suspended meals available. This practice not only provides food for those who cannot afford it but also fosters a sense of community and solidarity.

Criticism[edit | edit source]

While the suspended meal system is generally seen as a positive initiative, it has faced some criticism. Some argue that it can be exploited by those who are not truly in need. Others suggest that it is a temporary solution that does not address the root causes of poverty and homelessness.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD