The first SOMARO market opens in Bucharest

20 October 2010
Piata Matache, 5 Luncani Street, Sector 1, Bucharest

Katharina Turnauer Privatstiftung opens the first Romanian social market in Bucharest, in cooperation with ERSTE Foundation and Social Attaché Barbara-Wiebke Schöfnagel from the Austrian Embassy in Bucharest. 

Bucharest has almost 2 million residents and is by far the most heavily populated city in Romania. The gap between rich and poor is enormous. The social and economic situation in Romania has deteriorated significantly as a result of the global financial crisis and led to a food shortage for disadvantaged groups.

Providing support for people threatened by poverty is the goal of SOMARO, which follows the model developed by SOMA Austria. 500 families will shop at SOMARO, including families that have an income, but are in a difficult situation because of various problems, for example bedridden family members, disabled or ill family members.

The location of SOMARO is provided by the City Council of Sector 1 in Bucharest, which, together with the social welfare and children protection section, also identified the eligible families. SOMARO will sell donated household goods at symbolic prices to low-income people. This provides help for the persons threatened by poverty, while also offering them a small connection to normality (they will be shopping just like anyone else).

The concept of a supermarket that carries unsalable or unused merchandise for low-income consumers originated in the USA and it was subsequently taken up by an Austrian group, which opened this country’s first social market, SOMA, in Linz, in 1999.

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