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Last Updated: Friday, 10 March 2006, 07:29 GMT
Argentina's poor to dine in style
By Daniel Schweimler
BBC News, Buenos Aires

Mother with child eating fritter from the soup kitchen
About 600 people turned up for the soup kitchen's opening
A community kitchen to feed the poor has opened in the centre of Puerto Madero, the most affluent area in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires.

It is run by community groups and will serve simple Argentine food for free while all around diners eat at some of the city's most expensive restaurants.

Radical speeches were not exactly what developers had in mind when they moved in to renew the area several years ago.

Expensive restaurants and plush hotels now line the waterfront.

This, the former docks area, is where businessmen and tourists eat their lunch.

But this is also where radical activist Raul Castells has opened a community kitchen to feed, for free, the city's poor.

The site was donated by a businessman.

The small kiosk-type building opposite the Hilton Hotel is topped by a huge board with the words "we are fighting for an Argentina in which the dogs of the rich don't eat better than the children of the poor".

It will serve bread, stews and soups bought from donations.

Local restaurant owners are concerned but few are protesting loudly - at least not yet.

One said: "Why here? Poor people don't live here anymore."

But there are plenty of poor people in other parts of Buenos Aires, a short walk from Puerto Madero.

There will be no shortage of customers at the community kitchen for a hearty meal and a glimpse at how Argentina's rich live.

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