TODAY |

Chefs serve Christmas cheer in Sao Paulo, where over 20,000 are believed to homeless

Sao Paulo's homeless were treated to a Christmas meal today, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign encouraging people to volunteer and feed the homeless in Brazil.

The charity SP Invisivel organised the event with the goal of feeding and providing presents for 1000 homeless people who live on the streets of Latin America's most populous city.

The campaign raised NZ$29,780.

Large tables were set up on the street, with decorations, food, drinks and a live band.

Guests were served barbecued chicken, rice, beans and potatoes prepared by the renowned Brazilian chef Rodrigo Martins.

Mr Martins, at the forefront of the campaign to feed the homeless in Brazil, said the menu is simple and uses common ingredients, but was cooked with special flavours and spices.

One man, Walter Mesquita, said he lost his wife and two children to a plane crash, leading to his depression, drug use and becoming homeless.

The guests also recieved free medical and dental care during the event.

According to the a 2015 census by the City of Sao Paulo, there are almost 16,000 people living in the streets but considering the upward trend since 2000, when there were 8,700 homeless people, it is estimated that the actual number today is well over 20,000.

Juliana da Silva, who lives in an abandoned building, came with her five children.

She says the meal is so important to the kids, who rarely get the opportunity to eat well-prepared food.

Sao Paulo's homeless were treated to a feast thanks to a crowdfunding campaign. Source: Associated Press