Fondazione Mater is a non-profit foundation based in Geneva. The foundation was founded in 2020 by the chef Walter el Nagar, whose fame and social commitment go hand in hand. The aim of the foundation is to promote social inclusion through food, to encourage access to a balanced diet for people in precarious or excluded situations and to fight against food waste. MATER offers a high quality contemporary cuisine for all, including those who cannot afford it: a “social and culinary experience” at the same time, choosing a local and seasonal supply and adhering to a zero waste logic.



  • To serve complete and balanced meals to people in precarious situations or exclusion in coordination with humanitarian organizations based in Geneva. 
  • Receive with dignity and offer a moment out of time to people in difficulty.
  • Develop nutrition programs to be shared with organizations involved in the fight against hunger.
  • To take up the challenges of producer surplus and mass distribution.
  • To set up training, by a brigade of recognized chefs, of the young generation of chefs and of people in difficulty seeking employment.


Refettorio Geneva is managed by the non-profit organization Fondazione Mater. It brings together gastronomy and humanitarian action to foster resilience and social impact in a place that celebrates innovation, creativity, science and design. Based on the rich multidisciplinarity of the Geneva network, this cultural project offers the opportunity to develop a sense of community and citizen leadership. The activities of the Refettorio will reduce social vulnerability and promote the well-being of people in precarious situations, while fostering inclusiveness through the integration of the humanities, art, education, training and culinary studies.

Fondazione Mater and Food for Soul will work together to strengthen the ecosystem of empathy and compassion that is historically embedded in Geneva. By mobilizing community organizations, private and public partners, the general public, government actors and volunteers, the Refettorio promotes good environmental practices with programs and services that open pathways for social and economic mobility. Guided by its founding principles, the Value of Hospitality, the Strength of Beauty and the Quality of Ideas, the Refettorio maximizes the impact of the Fondazione Mater with gastronomic and cultural activities that respond to the needs of today while paving the way for those of tomorrow.

Scroll to Top