MST opens Sacolão Popular in SP and promises monthly actions for the homeless population

Sunday, February 25, 2024
Info Source: 
By Lucas Weber | From Brazil in fact | Edited by Nicolau Soares and Maria Silva | Translated by the Friends of the MST (US) | Original URL:

Project in partnership with Pastoral do Povo da Rua will bring food from agrarian reform "at cost" to the population

This Saturday (February 24), the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) inaugurated the Sacolão Popular Irmão Pedro Betancur, located in the Belenzinho neighborhood, east of the capital of São Paulo. The space is a partnership between the MST and Pastoral Povo da Rua, led by Father Julio Lancellotti, and aims to be an alternative for selling agroecological foods at popular prices.

“The original idea is for us to create dozens of spaces like this, mainly in places further away from the city center of São Paulo and also in the interior. To link the production of settlements, small farmers, quilombolas, indigenous people with the fight against hunger, poverty and malnutrition,” explains Gilmar Mauro, member of the MST's national coordination.

According to Mauro, a unique feature of the space will be the monthly “banquetaços” for the homeless population. “It’s not enough to just hand over a lunch box to someone to eat on the curb, we want to sit at the table to rescue the idea of ​​dignity.”

In addition to solidarity actions, the general public will be able to purchase the items offered at Sacolão “at cost”, argues the director.

Brother Pedro Betancur

The name refers to a Guatemalan saint “who distributed food to the poor, and was a lay saint, hence the tribute,” explains Mauro.

Pedro Betancur was a missionary born in the Canary Islands, Spanish territory, who was the founder of the first religious order in the Americas and dedicated his life to caring for the poorest people in the 17th century. He created a health and education project for the people of the region of Guatemala, at the time under Spanish colonial rule. He offered free education to children and adults, regardless of origin or skin color. He was later recognized as a saint by the Catholic church.