The winter months are a crucial time for supporting Prague’s homeless community whose numbers are upwards of 70,000 people.
Initiatives to provide winter jackets, free shelter, and food during the brutal winter season are plentiful; now a group of concerned citizens wants to lend a summertime helping hand to those in need.
The third annual Piknik pro lidi be domova (Picnic for people without a home) will be held again at Vila Štvanice a week from today on Monday, July 23.
Last year’s picnic saw 400 people descend on the culture space on Prague’s Štvanice Island bearing gifts of baked goods, clothes, and pet food. This year attendance is expected to increase as interest grows.
The picnic is organized by a group of friends, led by Františka Kernová, whose charitable activities began with distributing Christmas cookies on the streets of Prague. The group realized then that homeless people often don’t get to enjoy a quality homecooked meal in a festive atmosphere.
While the initial ambition of the picnic was, according to organizers, nothing other than “to give people in a difficult social situation a day full of good food, well-being, social contacts and entertainment,” the event has grown to include free counseling and support booths, clothing donations, food for pets, and, new for 2018: homeless dating.
How can you help?
Organizers are requesting donations of marmalades, compotes, pickled, and pantry items in advance fo the event; baked goods, plastic containers for food storage, and pet kibble is also welcome.
Donations of canned and packaged foods and clothes, cosmetics, old cell phones, feminine hygiene products, sleeping bags, blankets, and tents can be brought to Belzepub in Žižkov, or contact the group via Facebook to arrange a pickup.
If you miss out on donating to this annual event, there are other ways to help: electronics manufacturer Samsung recently set up community refrigerators around Prague that accept food donations year round.