Pope buys quake zone pro­duce to help farm­ers; do­nates food

Cape Breton Post - - WORLD -

Pope Fran­cis’s chief alms­giver is on a shop­ping spree in quake-struck cen­tral Italy, buy­ing up pro­sciutto, cheese and lo­cal pro­duce from strug­gling lo­cal busi­nesses and do­nat­ing the bounty to Ro­man soup kitchens. The Vat­i­can said Mon­signor Kon­rad Kra­jew­ski’s ex­pe­di­tion Thurs­day was a con­crete ges­ture of Fran­cis’ be­lief that “when you can’t earn a liv­ing you lose your dig­nity.” The Vat­i­can re­leased pho­tos of Kra­jew­ski vis­it­ing lo­cal pro­sciutto mak­ers and buy­ing up rounds of cheese and other typ­i­cal pro­duce. The re­gion is known for its lentils.

Cen­tral Italy has been rocked by a series of pow­er­ful earth­quakes that have driven thou­sands of peo­ple from their homes and dev­as­tated the lo­cal econ­omy. Ital­ian farm as­so­ci­a­tion Coldiretti has es­ti­mated dam­age to the agri­cul­tural sec­tor alone of at least 52 mil­lion euros.

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