It is an Indian row that speaks of despair that lasts for a few meters on Viale dei Mille, in Florence, and blocks the entrance to the Church of the Seven Saints. A meter away from each other, dozens of people wait patiently for their turn to receive the food package. With the health emergency that caused thousands of workers to lose their jobs insecure throughout Italy the parish priest of the Florentine church began distributing an envelope of the spending. Once every 15 days. Those who cannot make ends meet and without help risk dying of hunger. “We distribute basic necessities. Bread, water, biscuits, homogenised to those in need – a Caritas volunteer explains – the displeasure is that often food is not enough for everyone and we are forced to send people away. The queue sometimes comes to surround the building is shocking. ”
Hours of waiting for a pack of pasta. To spare those few pennies that make the difference right now. While it State abandon citizens who, day after day, see the promises of financial help from the institutions pulverized in the labyrinth of bureaucracy there are those who just have to cling to the good heart of the churchmen. “We do charity in silence, without boasting”. The parish priest explains that he asks not to be taken up and then adds “since people learned about our initiative, the number of requests has tripled. Are so many. People are hungry and have no money and we can’t help everyone. I don’t want the queue to increase further because sending people away without an envelope is a pain for me. ”
With slow step and bowed head the men advance slowly towards the volunteers of the Caritas waiting for them at the entrance of the parish. It is necessary to fill in a sheet with your data where the name of the family members is also inserted. A chat with the priest who tries to snatch a smile from everyone despite his first routine question hurts the heart: “Doesn’t anyone work at home?”. Children by the hand are the palliative to the concern that too often takes away the smile. They play and laugh with taste when they sink their arm into the cardboard of heart-shaped chocolates.
The more hours pass, the more the containers begin to empty. The resources of food run out at the speed of light and with them the hope of the last of the line to be able to bring something to their family. “Every time everything ends and dozens of people are still behind the gates,” tells a girl who distributes the packaged sweets at the end of the path.
Nobody wants to talk, everyone asks to lower the camera. As if their call for help was something to be ashamed of. “Work is dignity, removing it is a serious sin, ”said Pope Francis to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the general audience.