Rio Soup Kitchens Close as Financial Crisis and Olympics Loom Closer

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According to the Associated Press, three of the 16 government-run soup kitchens in Rio de Janeiro will no longer serve the impoverished.

As these kitchens close their doors for good, another five are discontinuing breakfast services.

These shutterings are due to the enormous economic strain Rio is under due to falling oil prices and the costs of a proper Olympic games.

A welfare agency stated that its food supplier hasn’t been paid in a year and is owed around $7.5 million.

Earlier this week, the standing governor of Rio warned that the games could be “a big failure,” saying that police patrols were running out of gas money and a needed metro system to transport Olympic tourists to the Games may not be complete.

The city is still looking for more than $800 million in bailout money from the Brazilian government. Until then, government-funded operations like the soup kitchens won’t get the funds they need to keep their doors open and their clientele fed.

“I tried to convince them,” Paulo Melo, Rio’s secretary of state for social services told the AP. “At this point, it is obvious that we are unable to offer services to our people.”

Come August, it will be different story within the walls of the massive Olympic village. According to an AP report filed in May, chefs will prepare 60,000 meals a day for the 18,000 athletes, coaching staff and other guests.

“They can eat all they want,” Marcello Cordeiro, the Rio Olympics director of food and beverages, told the AP. “No scales. We know athletes know exactly what they need to eat.”