In order to eliminate even the slightest risk of spreading the virus ourselves, we had to put a full stop to three of our projects on the 11th of March (+1 sandwich, Ételmentés, Vitamin Commando). Pausing these projects means a shortfall of nearly 5000 portions of food per month from the social care system – not to mention the additional donations and physical help – so we needed to prepare for a new type of operation. We are focusing on logistics and communication now and decided to put more emphasis on the types of donations that are most necessary in the current situation.

The majority of our team is working from home, but our volunteers help a lot with delivering donations. We have created a group that welcomes new volunteers besides our regulars.

In the past two weeks, we set up an open donation center in the garden of the Táblás Temporary Shelter and Day Center. We have delivered the following, mainly from here, to the social support network:

  • 850 kg apples
  • 17,280 unfiltered 100% apple juice (0.2 L)
  • 32,800 portions of multivitamin 
  • 1,071 doses of cleaning supplies 
  • 6,000 portions of non-perishable food and hot meals
  • blankets, masks, rubber/latex gloves, disinfectants

We are in constant communication with the homeless and elderly care system. We provide hot meals to three homeless shelters, thanks to the Egy-tál-étel project in collaboration with Egészségkonyha, and another project we are working on with Hokedli. We will deliver 1200 washable and ironable masks to the care system in the coming days, and in the following weeks multiple of this, depending on our procurement opportunities.

The donations we have moved in the last two weeks were worth nearly 5 million HUF in total, and we are certain that in the following weeks it will remain the same or grow. The donations we received from you for our VitaminBoom! action and food totaled 1.5 million HUF. As a first step, we have purchased non-perishable food, vitamin supplement, and masks, and hot meals were made and donated to the elderly care and homeless care system, for temporary family housings and orphanages, for 1.3 million HUF.

We are continuously assessing the current needs of institutions and use the donation funds to meet those needs.

We are in collaboration with the Hungarian Red Cross, doing everything we can to support their work.

In the past few years, Bike Maffia has always been emphasizing the importance of having a good relationship with not only charities and the members of the social care system, but with companies and other market players as well. As a result, we are able to fight shoulder to shoulder with smaller and bigger companies now, to alleviate the problems caused by the pandemic.

Besides health care employees, social workers also put a huge effort into their day to day work, risking their health to help those who are not only invisible for the majority of society but are also at a higher risk. Kudos from us to them! We will keep doing our best to help them in their work.



Other than healthcare workers, social care workers and their clients (ie: homeless and elderly people) are amongst the most vulnerable people right now. Although we are trying to provide vitamins, cleaning supplies, masks, and non-perishable food in large quantities, hot meals are also a precious commodity, even a luxury in some instances. Thanks to the collaborative work between Hokedli and Bike Maffia: 100 servings of hot food are prepared at Hokedli’s white kitchen daily so that we can provide aid to the most vulnerable groups of people.

As a first step, we will finance this project with 150,000 HUF. This will mean that we can provide 100 servings of food daily, for a week; your help however will still be essential now and in the future as well!

3,000 HUF is enough to provide hot meals for 12 people, an essential thing for both the workers and for the most vulnerable.

Buy food vouchers, to get hot meals to people who live on social assistance. Keep an eye on our Facebook page, where we report on the delivery and reception of the donations!



It is pretty cool that more and more people find it important to help others and would like to do something for those in need. The Bike Maffia team building is a great opportunity to do just this in a company setting.

At these events, we prepare sandwiches or get cooking – including desserts of course. We deliver an interactive session where we introduce the work of BBM, have a discussion about prejudices and we also try to paint a picture of homelessness from a different angle. Finally, there is a quiz and we pack the food we made.

As a result of the summer and fall team buildings, 1000 sandwiches and close to 400 portions of hot food were prepared. Some of these we distributed on the streets with the teams, while the rest were delivered by our Foodsaver couriers to shelters.

In the past months we’ve had many guests – kudos to the teams of ING Bank, AON Hungary, Process Solutions, Arrow, VMware, Celanese, Novotel, Continental Corporate, and Decathlon!

For Novotel staff the team building was a surprise event – see below their feedback:

„Starting off for our annual team building event we had no idea where we are heading. After the warm welcome and introductions we participated in interactive discussions, situational exercises, and an informative and at the same time fun quiz – a lot of the data shown was quite shocking. What we’ve heard and seen put a whole new perspective on people in need and especially on homeless people. The succeeding sensitization session has definitely allowed all of us to step outside our comfort zones and inspired us to set up a company-level donation project in the future.”

Many thanks to Kőleves and Dürer Kert for the venue!

If you would like to join, please e-mail 

More information on team building events for companies: 



We launched the +1 sandwich project in April 2016, so it has been four academic years now that hundreds of students help the everyday life of shelters preparing plus one sandwich, and thus offering snacks or dinners to homeless people.

This year we started the program with the participation of 37 schools in Budapest, and the numbers of the first three weeks clearly demonstrate how much help we can provide to those in need even by preparing just one sandwich.

The children collected a total amount of 5635 sandwiches and 60 kg of fruit. Thank you, we are so proud of you!

If you feel like you would also like to be part of the project, contact us at and our volunteer speakers will visit your school as well.

We will present an interactive lecture on prejudices and homelessness, and you can get acquainted with the work of BBM.

We would like to thank for the participation of the following schools:

AKG Kiscelli
Batthyány Lajos Általános Iskola
Bethlen Gábor Általános Iskola és Gimnázium
Bethlen Gábor Általános Iskola és Gimnázium Kincskereső Tagiskolája
BKSzC Gundel Károly Szakképző Iskolája
Budapest II.Kerületi II. Rákóczi Ferenc Gimnázium
Budapesti Fazekas Mihály Gyakorló Általános Iskola és Gimnázium
Budapesti Gazdasági Szakképzési Centrum II. Rákóczi Ferenc Közgazdasági Szakgimnáziuma 
Budapesti Orvostanhallgatók Egyesülete
Corvin Mátyás Gimnázium és Szakközépiskola
Csillagberek Waldorf Általános Iskola és AMI
Csillagház Általános Iskola
Derkovits Gyula Általános Iskola
ELTE Apáczai Csere János Gyakorlógimnázium
ELTE Radnóti Miklós Gyakorlóiskola
ELTE Trefort Ágoston Gyakorlóiskola
Gustave Eiffel Francia Óvoda, Általános Iskola és Gimnázium

Jedlik Ányos Gimnázium
Kempelen Farkas 
Kőbányai Szent László Gimnázium
Leövey Klára Gimnázium
Óbudai Waldorf Gimnázium
Poli: Közgazdasági Politechnikum Alternatív Gimnázium és Szakközépiskola
Sashalmi Waldorf Iskola
Sashegyi Arany János Általános Iskola és Gimnázium
Újbudai József Attila Gimnázium
Városmajori Gimnázium
Veres Pálné GimnáziumZuglói Herman Ottó Tudásközpont Általános Iskola  
XIV. Kerületi Liszt Ferenc Általános Iskola

Collaborating shelters:

  • BMSZKI:  Dózsa, Táblás
  • Menhely Alapítvány:  Vajdahunyad,  Práter
  • Máltai: Miklós utca
  • Menedékház Alapítvány
  • Golgota Budapest Nappali melegedő
  • Mirai Egyesület
  • XXI. kerületi Vöröskereszt
  • Baptista Integrációs Központ
  • Oltalom Karitatív Egyesület – Dankó utca


The students of Hajós Alfréd school in Zugló joined the +1 sandwich project this autumn. Once a month they will be also collecting donations for the homeless. With one occasion already behind them, the results are quite impressive: along with 150 sandwiches and 10 kgs of fruit, 100 (!) kgs of durable goods have been collected by the children. The mother of 7-year-old Hetti, Rella found out about the Bike Maffia first and started the movement in the school. An inspiring story straight from the main organizer – have a read!

Mom, let’s get them dinner!

With my kindergarten-aged daughter we go through the BVSC underpass several times a week, when we are going home from sports class. Sometimes in nice mild weather, other times it’s so cold, that we are freezing under our winter coats. A homeless man was always there: he was either sleeping on his worn-out mattress or reading a book in the semi-darkness. It was terrible to think about the contrast: we soon get home to our cozy and warm home, where we can sit around the table together to have dinner, meanwhile he has to do something that is incomprehensible to me: try to get through another day alone. 

“Why is he not going home? Does he live here? Then what does he eat?” – enquired my then six-year-old daughter. We started to talk with him: why did he end up on the street? How can we help him? What can we do for him?

“Mommy let’s get him dinner!” – said my daughter with self-evident conviction in her voice, and I felt a bit ashamed, that I didn’t think about that first. After that first time of talking to the man, we made a sandwich, a bottle of tea and packed an apple before every sports class. On the way back home my daughter ran to the homeless man living in the underpass and gave him our little package. Since then she started her first year in the Hajós Alfréd bilingual primary school, and I became a member of the PTA along with another mom. The first thing I did was to find information about how can the school help the homeless, in a similar way that we did with my daughter. 

I firmly believe that it’s not our task to solve the complicated problem of homelessness, but it’s our duty to help in any way we can. I didn’t have to search very long: I found the Budapest Bike Maffia, so I suggested joining the +1 sandwich program on the first PTA. The principal, the school board and the parents agreed straight away. After a few e-mails, a couple of phone calls, and a very unique poster, we have already finished collecting the first round of donations.

The poster was made by the seven-year-old Hetti (with some parental help)

Since then several parents and teachers thanked me for organising the project. I think I was just the link between a caring organisation and the many students, teachers and parents, who wanted to do something!

After the first occasion, we can clearly see that people like to give and want to do something for other people if they get help to do so. The Budapest Bike Maffia provided that help to us. The whole project shows, that a lot of times to be able to do big things you have to start with very small ones. 

Sometimes we feel like, that what we do is only a drop in the ocean. But without that drop the ocean would remain shallower. – Mother Teresa

The first time the Hajós school collected 150 sandwiches, 10 kg of fruit and 100 kg of durable goods for those in need. We can’t wait for the next occasion! Thank you Budapest Bike Maffia, for helping us to help. 

A huge THANK YOU to Rella and to the whole school, a big high five! 🙂

Fotó: Juhász Istvánnews


The activities and projects of Budapest Bike Maffia are realized through the enthusiastic and tireless work of our volunteers. To help you get to know them better, they will introduce themselves in short interviews and tell a few stories about their volunteering experiences.

Orsi Tapasztó has joined Budapest Bike Maffia a year ago. After the summer break, at the start of September, she will resume work as coordinator of our +1XTRA program with a team of school lecturers.

Many are already familiar with the +1 sandwich school project of Budapest Bike Maffia. You volunteer to coordinate another branch of the school programs. What exactly is this program and what is your task within it?

About a year ago, a team of lecturers has come together to provide sensitizing training to students of different ages about homelessness, about turning towards each other, the work of BBM, and of course about the opportunities to join our work. My job is to coordinate this process, so the inquiries of schools come to me, I am the link between them and the lecturers and the one who has to make sure that everything runs smoothly so that schools and lecturers can focus on the important things.

You are still relatively new to Budapest Bike Maffia, but you have volunteered before. When did you join the team and what has attracted you to volunteering?

I have initially joined the team of Bike Maffia in the fall of 2018 and started getting more involved in the work from this spring. Volunteering has been a part of my life for a few years when something clicked in my head: okay, up till now I could look at things from afar but now I have to actually do something about what is happening around us – as an average citizen volunteering is an activity that enables you to do something right away. I’ve been keeping an eye on BBM’s diverse projects and activities, their continuous progress, and Zoli and his team’s work for years and I’m happy to be able to participate in it now.

Did volunteering bring any change, any experience you didn’t expect that surprised you?

Volunteering toughens up a person when it comes to their relationship with homelessness. If you often have to deal with something that you’ve only been watching from afar, you learn to look more and more directly into the eyes of a beggar, and as you work, your initial panic and tension will be replaced by a desire to help. I suspected that I would meet many kindly and helpful people while volunteering, but to be able to form genuine and honest friendships over the age of thirty has been a very pleasant result of this work. Last but not least, volunteers may find themselves in situations that bring out abilities unknown even to them. As a physicist, I would never have thought that I would be able to organize events, raise money, or write tenders for such a cause. Of course, this requires an organization that provides a supportive environment for the process.


The program aims to sensitize young people, promote volunteering, and build a community of students, parents, and educators in our +1 Sandwich program that is able to think together about what we can do for ourselves and for others. The first step of this is an approximately 1.5-hour interactive lecture where we present the work of Budapest Bike Maffia and discuss prejudices through the topic of homelessness.

If you would like to invite our school sensitization lecturers to give a presentation, please contact Orsi!



The MyBudapest Photo Project, the Photo Contest of Budapest Bike Maffia offers homeless artists an opportunity to express themselves. Season 4 started in 2019. The jury is currently sorting the entries, and we are talking to Éva Füge, head of Employment and Housing at BMSZKI shelter at Dozsa György street about the work at their shelter and the photo project.

Does the shelter at Dozsa György street have any distinguishing characteristics? Who comes to you? What forms of care do you provide?

The Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy (BMSZKI for short) and its Institutions are a diversified institutional system that is maintained by the Capital. It is the largest social service provider for homeless people, with 31 professional units. Amongst these, the Dózsa György street shelter is the largest service site, providing the widest range of available services and is also the center of our institutional system. It has a maximum capacity of 620 people. The center has a Social Information Center and an Admission Preparation Team to help clients access personalized services. In addition to the Dózsa Night Shelter, the Dózsa Temporary Accommodation, and the Origóc Warming Shelter, the Homeless Employment and Housing Office is also located here. The office has an average client turnover of 40 people per day, but this is significantly influenced by the seasons, the weather conditions as well as the volatility of the labor market.

When did you first get in contact with Budapest Bike Maffia? What kind of joint projects did you have so far?

In 2015 Food Angels and Budapest Bike Maffia have organized a project called ‘Low-fare Wellness and Mall’ for the Aszód Night Shelter and Warming Shelter. I think that was our first joint cooperation. The people living at the homeless shelter could use “happiness points”, ie coupons to get clothes, toiletries, and food. There was also a health assessment, the residents could participate in screening programs and get a haircut from hairdressers participating in the project.

Bike Maffia’s +1 sandwich project is very popular with our residents, and we regularly receive fresh sandwiches through the program. Raising social awareness amongst young people and communicating with schools also brings about positive changes. Social perception of homelessness shifts from negativity and judgment towards an active, willing and helpful attitude. This is how – in the long run – a new generation of adults will grow up, ones who be aware that homeless people are just as diverse as they are. From people living at underpasses to well-performing, working people who are “only struggling with housing”.
In June, the Homeless Employment and Housing Office has received a large and varied non-perishable food donation from Danone through BBM. This is a great help for us, as staying on top of things until they receive their first full monthly payment is a big challenge for our clientele. Access to free meals is often lost when they gain employment, and not all workplaces provide free or subsidized meals.

This is not the first time that you have been a partner in the MyBudapest Photo Project. What are your experiences? Why might such a program, an art project, be important to the residents of the hotel?

We have been participating in the MyBudapest Photo Project for 4 years now, since 2016. Beyond financial aid, a photo contest is a very good way for our clients to look at their situation and the world around them from a different perspective. Through the camera lens, they get to see the world differently. And the pictures provide us insight into the daily life of homeless people. The opportunity to take photos invigorates our customers. Photography as art therapy is of similar value as any other creative activity. And I think I don’t need to expound upon the long-term positive effects of art therapy.

Every creative activity that they pursue helps them express themselves. It has a self-affirming effect and provides a boost to their self-confidence. It helps them to process the traumas they have experienced.



We have been through a busy year. New organizations joined us, so we started our gardening project with three times as many volunteers, in order to put fresh fruit and vegetables on the table for people in need.

Based on the experience of a successful past year, we knew that we are able to bring out more of the project, the only thing we need is a close-knit and effective group of participants. And that group has come together!
This year, the BBM Seeds 4 Hope core team got bigger: apart from Viki Zsolnai and Endre Kovács project coordinators, Luca Eszter Petruska and Betti Balassa joined the team (along with her family). 

Luca was helping out with communication and administrative tasks, and Betti used her many years of gardening experience as the project’s new manager. Amongst other tasks, she calculated the number of seedlings necessary and decided which plants were to be grown side by side. It’s worth knowing that she is an integral member of the Kerthatár Community Garden too. We got to know Luca, Betti, and Betti’s family this year, and it’s lovely to know that we can count on them. Expertise, communication, and busy hands! We would like to grab the opportunity to thank them for their hard work and joining us in our vision. They brought new energy into the group dynamic. 

Six new organizations and fifty volunteers joined the Seeds 4 Hope project this year. We made 28 new seedbeds, used 7,700 liters of soil and we raised more than 400 seedlings

Putting more effort into the preparations greatly contributed to our success. With the help of our gardener, we created two planting handbooks, one for the volunteers and the other for the shelters. We provided a workshop for the volunteers along with the seeds so they will be better skilled to raise healthy plants. 

Months before the seedlings were transplanted we prepared the scrapwood beds for growing early sow vegetables. We needed a lot of pallets, soil and seeds to sow. We are grateful for the donation of soil and seeds to Oázis Gardening. We can thank the pallets to Lush, Zöldbolt, Complexpress Logisztika Kft., and HARTMANN-RICO Hungária Kft. The latter helped the project with extra seedlings and volunteers. Without the help of our sponsors’ generous donations, the project couldn’t develop at this pace. 

Of course, even during the growing period, we kept in touch with our volunteers, who let us know about the progress of the plants. Meanwhile, Betti gave them expert advice. 

We worked with already participating shelters and new ones. We would like to give a special mention to the Red Cross shelter on Madrid street, where a real community has formed around the project. A Gardening Club was founded and they even started courses in managing the household, so the shelter’s clients will make the best use of the vegetables.

We are very proud of the BMSZKI department on Táblás street, where the Budapest Bike Mafia is planning to open a Social Recreation Center. Spending quality time together and gardening will be an integral part of this new place. The transplanting event on Táblás street and the future plans of the Mafia were covered in the media by

It’s important to keep people inspired and the greatest joy is seeing children participate and work in the garden together with us. This year two children’s homes joined the project: branches number 1 and 2 of the Bolyai Center.  

The volunteers of the EON Hungária Zrt. and the employees of HARTMANN-RICO Kft. gave us a hand in raising the seedlings. We would like to thank them for their tremendous help! We hope they will join us in the coming year too!

We are grateful to Bolyai Childcare center No. 2 for being able to spend two weekends with the children because gardening together is the perfect occasion for them to be outside and learn new things. 

The best experience of all was tasting the produce we had grown together with months of work. 

Our plan for next season is that we will put even greater emphasis on the therapeutic benefits of gardening to enrich our clients’ lives. The shortage of available resources and funds didn’t make it possible to involve all of the institutions that wished to join the project this year. We do hope that next year we will be able to accommodate more participants and we will work hard to find more sponsors and volunteers for the cause.

It was great to work with you all and to see the project grow. We hope to continue to develop our collaboration next year, making the project better. 

If you want join or have a question, write us!

The team of BBM Seeds 4 Hope 



During the Volunteer month, Danone workers, as a personal donation, individually collected non-perishable food and made sandwiches for those in need.

Nearly 60 colleagues joined the program. For one week, non-perishable food was brought to the office: they collected 70 boxes of prepared food cans and paté, 70 portions of instant coffee, 40 packages of instant soup, 15 packages of sweets, 11 kg of pasta, several kg-s of flour, rice, sugar, cocoa, along with some jams, pesto, oil, syrup, pudding, and tea.

This is where Budapest Bike Maffia came into the picture: we helped to direct the donations to the Job center in BMSZKI (Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy and Its Institutions) Dózsa Homeless Shelter. Workers of the shelter made sure the donations arrive to those inhabitants who just started at a new job. The packages are very helpful for them to get through their first month and until their first paycheck arrives.

Danone workers also tested their sandwich-making skills. They made over 300 sandwiches in only a day, to which they added their good wishes too. BBM brought this donation to the same institution at Dózsa György út, targeting both the daytime and night shelters.

We send our best wishes to those reentering the job market, and a big high-five to the workers of Danone!



The MyBudapest Photo Project is a photo tender of the Budapest Bike Maffia, which provides an opportunity for homeless artists to show how they see the city.

This year we are organizing the project for the fourth time in a row,  and we already handed out the cameras, offered by Fuji, at the homeless shelters. This year the topic is bicycles and cycling. Nearly 100 cameras are scanning the city these days on the streets of Budapest right now. Participants wander in the city, searching for places and characters they deem important, pretty, or scenic.

There are more shelters involved now as in the past years. Besides the BMSZKI Dózsa homeless shelter and the Madrid street shelter of the Red Cross, some cameras landed at BMSZKI shelters on Táblás and Kocsis street. There were some places that MyBudapest volunteers could not reach, but with the help of the Vitamin Commando, those living on the streets also got a chance to participate.

In the coming weeks, we will collect the cameras, and with them, the photos. After they are developed, a professional jury will make their selection. Amongst the members of the jury, we can find photo artist Pál Nánási, curator Kata Oltai, Dávid Sándor and Ákos Szepessy from Fortepan, actress Kriszta Bíró from Örkény Theater’s company, and photography teacher Gabriella Csoszó, who will decide which 50 photos will be shown in a public exhibition on Madách Square, in September.

Gabi Csoszó helped to distribute the cameras and revealed the secrets of how to use them to the applicants.

We are looking forward to see the results! 🙂 Until then, check out the photos taken when the cameras were handed out.