The OFM Soup Kitchen was formally awarded the European Citizen’s Prize 2023 for Malta, awarded each year by the European Parliament.
The award ceremony was held at the Soup Kitchen’s own premises in Valletta, where MEP David Casa presented the prize medal to the Soup Kitchen’s founder and chairperson Fr Marcellino Micallef.
“The Soup Kitchen OFM Valletta was a lifeline for those on the social periphery, and few are as deserving as Fr Marcellino for upholding the human dignity of so many,” MEP Casa said. “The European Citizen’s Prize reminds us of our duty to act with his sense of social justice”.
Fr Marcellino emphasised the value of life of service and of compassion,and the challenges society is facing.
“It has already been two years since we opened the doors of the Franciscan Soup Kitchen and we have offered not only material sustenance but various other services to more than 50,000 people,” he said. “In our constant commitment at The Soup Kitchen OFM Valletta, we are meeting people who have a name and a face. We are giving them a voice, listening to their story, learning from their experiences and trying to understand their needs. They are not pictures that move us for a while, but humans in flesh and blood, people we know, who are often treated as outcasts. Material wealth makes a lot of noise, but the voices of those living in poverty are being silenced”.
The Head of the European Parliament Office in Malta, Dr Mario Sammut commended Fr Marcellino and his team volunteers for selflessly dedicating themselves to others, giving dignity and value to anyone who comes their way. He described the Soup Kitchen OFM Valletta as the embodiment of the good values of solidarity and integration which the Citizen’s Prize seeks to promote.
This award ceremony was the Malta award of the annual Citizen’s Prize, organised by the European Parliament Office in Malta.
The prize is open to all EU Member States and the winners from around the EU will also be celebrated at the European Parliament in Brussels in the European ceremony on the 7th of November 2023. The Soup Kitchen is being recognised for the solidarity, social inclusion, and human dignity values it embodies in its work.