One of the newest McDonald’s locations caused quite a stir when it opened its doors on Dec. 30.
The restaurant is housed in a building owned by the Vatican, steps away from St. Peter’s Basilica, so perhaps it’s not surprising that several members of the Church weren’t super thrilled with the new addition.
But, the McVatican, as it's been dubbed, seems to be trying to get into the neighborhood’s good graces. The restaurant is teaming up with Italian nonprofit Medicina Solidale to offer meals to homeless people living in Vatican City. Beginning Jan. 16, McDonald’s will donate 1,000 free lunches each week.
Related: McDonald's Opens Near the Vatican
Medicina Solidale’s mission is to provide free medical care to those in need. The organization’s director, Lucia Ercoli, said in a press release, “Providing a meal guarantees an appropriate supply of proteins and vitamins to so many men and women who live on the street. I am very happy with this agreement with McDonald’s.”
Medicina Solidale frequently works with Polish Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who oversees charitable giving for Pope Francis.
But it seems the Church isn’t the only entity that has some qualms about the fast food giant’s presence. On Jan. 9, a trio of Italian consumer groups reportedly filed a complaint with antitrust regulators in the EU regarding the company’s treatment of European franchisees and the length of their contracts.