What we do

The Refettorio houses several unique programs designed to build more healthy and equitable food systems, to create opportunities for social progress, and thereby to build a more resilient community.

Local programs

At the heart of the Refettorio operations is a convivial dining experience, transforming food surplus with culinary creativity into beautiful and nutritious meals that are good both for the planet and those who need it the most. The project has a food-focused approach to community building, supporting the Yucatán State’s wide effort to alleviate poverty through the promotion of social rights and inclusive development.

Our Impact

Anchor meal program

Our lunch program provides up to 100 guests in various situations of vulnerability a three-course meal, prepared entirely with rescued surplus ingredients, and served with warm hospitality by our volunteers.  What surplus ingredients the Refettorio cannot use, will be re-distributed through a network of social services so that no food goes to waste.


Food recovery

The Refettorio partners with local supermarkets and markets to collect surplus ingredients, which are transported back to the Refettorio where they are transformed by our resident chef as well as local and international guest chefs into delicious, nutritious, and culturally-relevant dishes served in a restaurant-style lunch service by volunteers from the community.


Vida independente

The Refettorio will house the innovative Vida Independiente Program championed by Fundación Palace that offers acontinuation service for women coming out of supportive housing where they can live, learn skills, continue education, and build community.


Support programs

Refettorio Merida aims to serve as a hub of creativity, culture, and human connection. Together with community allies, we host different programs in the space, one being a hygiene area offered to our guests with showers, access to laundry services, and occasional haircuts. Community building through artistic, social, and cultural programs, generating emotional support and promoting the generation of activities that transform society. Each evening after lunch, we  will host these cultural activities, with topics changing each week, where our guests can build self-esteem, connect to a supportive community, and ultimately, feel a greater sense of dignity and belonging.


Global presence: our Network

Refettorio Mérida is part of a global network of Refettorio projects. The Learning Network is a creative, educational space where Refettorios’ operational partners are free to exchange information, have an open dialogue and bring up transformative examples of equitable and inclusive programs designed to promote resiliency and sustainability.


The values of our Network

The Learning Network is based on benevolent partnerships, mutual respect and recognition. It is our duty to contribute to the development of a safe, balanced and open space, where everyone can feel heard and appreciated and where we can demonstrate the potential of working together to achieve a more meaningful and widespread impact.

  • Participation

  • Locally rooted and globally informed

  • Continuous Improvement

  • Inclusion

  • Partnership

The goals of our Network

Through the development of multilateral relationships between Food For Soul and the operating partners, the intended outcomes are:

  1. Become an interconnected financially stable, community of organizations and individuals who, while sharing similar values, have different experiences and approaches and who can learn from and support each other;

  2. Make sure that across the network, participants are able to offer high-quality services to their communities;

  3. Develop the tools to measure the impact that the Refettorios and Social Tables have on their communities as well as the ripple effect that they are having on wider audiences and craft ways to communicate such impact;

  4. Become an influential voice for change and advocate based on diverse experiences for resilient communities, social mobility and equitable food ecosystems.