With Spain hit hard by an economic downturn, a recently opened restaurant in Terrassa, Catalonia has found a way to offer the unemployed a helping hand.
According to Euronews, Terrassa's city council teamed up with local charities to fund a restaurant that hosts a "work exchange scheme." The program allows those who are unable to afford meals to pay for their food by volunteering for an hour at the restaurant.
These customers, who usually have been out of work for 2 to 3 years, can serve, clean or help out in the kitchen in exchange for a full-course meal.
"This is aimed at people wanting to regain and strengthen their self-esteem. People wanting to improve their daily lives," restaurant manager Xavier Casas told Euronews.
Spanish news source El País estimates that half of the establishment's business comes from regular customers and the other half comes from volunteers.
"It is great that there are people who still get up in the morning thinking about how to help others," volunteer Miquel Perez told El País.
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