Based on an old custom from Naples in southern Italy, the Salvamamme association has thought of a scheme called 'suspended ice-cream', that allows customers across hundreds of ice-cream parlors in Italy to 'bank' a gelato for people who cannot afford their own. The Salvamamme association helps disadvantaged families and hopes the month-long scheme will provide treats in particular for those children who may otherwise miss out.
Enthusiasm for this project has beaten expectations, with hundreds of ice parlors, patisseries and cafes across Italy signing up for the scheme. The idea is a simple one, customers eat one ice-cream but pay for two. The concept draws on the trust between paying customers and the shop owner, who is the one to decide who should benefit from the gift.
Malian actress Youma Diakite, the campaign's patron, said, "I am a mother, and I know how I would feel if I could not offer my son an ice-cream. One small gesture, plus another small gesture, plus another small gesture, results in big things."