R.C.K Calais/Dunkirk after the fire…

18156387_10155281234486255_1390313073441109505_oWe have been very busy salvaging as much equipment from the RCK community kitchens/Women’s Centre/Children’s Centre /Wood Yard.

Being back in the camp as it was being cleared of burnt shelters and buckled kitchens was a surreal experience after being there just over a year ago when we were building this camp which was to serve as a place of refuge and safety for thousands of displaced people. It wasn’t perfect but it served its purpose and we say goodbye and swiftly move on to the new situation at hand. Continue reading

Health & Safety…

Hello fine friends, family and RCK supporters, here’s a small update to keep you all in the loop.

After nearly a year and a half of service and over a million nutritious hot meals made and distributed from our kitchen at the L’auberge des Migrants warehouse HQ in Calais, we had our first official health and safety inspection from the local authorities, triggered by the mayor of Calais. We received the inspection report and although the officials were very impressed with our set up and systems they imposed refinements and environmental improvements that we had to undertake within a time frame of firstly 21 days for medium improvements and 60 days for major works.

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Up-date from Sam Jones 19.2.17

Here’s a little update:

Outreach food is still growing in number in and around Calais (180-200 meals per day), as well as increasing food to Secours Catholique (160-200 per day) a charity who provide ongoing legal and educational support to refugees in the area.

Dunkirk hot food output stays steady at 500-600, with free shops managing to meet needs of camp population, our new shop van working to capacity very happily everyday, many thanks to thoughtful and generous donation of this van from Calais Action.

It’s clear that from our rising output to all small camps, squats and individuals sleeping rough that numbers are growing in the area.

Many thanks the crew here for herculean baking efforts, pulling an all night baking session, yealding 110 gastro’s of bread, that’s 880 generous portions of fresh focaccia style bread.

RCK mobile kitchen truck is nearing operational condition, with first plumbed gas burner tested successfully, water proof socket in place and sealing, painting and external fixing underway.

We’ve had a little re-shuffle in our warehouse space, improving our storage and working area.

With all these jobs in play everyday we need your support as ever, so if you’re thinking of coming down and getting involved, or supporting from home, please do,get in touch and tell a friend!

Many many thanks to you all for the ongoing help and support, have a wonderful day!

Much love from all RCK team

https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=147727

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Lush Summit 2017

Two days spent at Lush Summit 2017, serving a delicious sample of the food we have shared every day for the last 15 months in Calais and Dunkirk. We reminded everyone that the crisis is not over and highlighted the URGENT need for volunteers, we shared how easy it is to come over to work in the RCK kitchen, how accessible Calais is from the UK and how rewarding and fun it can be. Janie joined Maddie and other past volunteers from Calais to speak of their experiences. We at RCK are honoured to be part of the generous and thoughtful family that is Lush. A huge thank you to Annalisa Blake, Jacob Strauss Aitana Infante, Janie Mac, Steve Bedlam, Sam Jones, Helena Agathangelou, Eli Holloway Gallardo, Jackivan Holloway Gallardo, Dan Cole and to Lush for supporting us unconditionally from the start.

We need to keep highlighting the crisis and the need please share and come over soon!!
For volunteering information email refugeecommunitykitchen@gmail.com

RCK NORTHERN FRANCE UPDATE

Four months ago, in October 2016, the Jungle camp in Calais was evicted and demolished… 10,000 people were sent to every corner of France to CAOs, RCK thought that the need would be greatly reduced and our operation would not be needed on the scale it had been for the past 11 months. Yes, our hot food distribution has greatly reduced; instead of 2500-3000 meals a day we are now serving between 300-500 meals everyday. A relative breeze for the amazing chefs and long-term volunteers we have in our kitchen.

However, since the closure of the Jungle camp we have far from slowed down our operations and RCK is now just as busy as ever and spending more and more money on food security for the 1400 refugees that have not been evicted from the La Liniere camp in Grande Synthe or have returned from the CAOs to sleep rough in and around Calais, just in a different way.

RCK has two FREE shops in the La Liniere camp supplying food to the 1200 residents of the camp and maintaining the 7 community kitchens that we built in March 2015 to allow the residents to cook their own food.

Once again we have taken the same stance we took when serving thousands daily in the jungle and we make sure the stocking of the shops is done with dignity and respect in mind. We only put food on the shelf that is in date, we make sure we have fresh vegetables everyday as well as fresh bread when we have the money to. Using a ticketing system that was devised by one of the camps most dedicated people, Laure, residents can come to the shop everyday to get what they need so they do not have to stock pile food in their small shelters and take up valuable space, people have started to bring food back to the shops now as they realise that we are going nowhere in a hurry and we are always fully stocked with the basics.

No more just taking what they have been offered they can now choose what they want daily.

Dignity and Respect.

RCK is also working with outreach groups in and around northern France to supply hot and cold food to the smaller camps and squats that are now re-appearing due to the CAOs closing and people returning.

Every day we hear of new arrivals and we offer help where we can, be it daily drop offs of hot food to the 20 young men living in a old building or weekly drops of cold food to small camps 1hrs drive away from the kitchen.

There are also regular drop offs of baked goods to Paris for the outreach teams to give out in the night packs.

Our work here is far from over and we do not see an end in sight.

After the fire in one of our community kitchens that became the Women’s Centre 10 days ago we have once again called on the skills of Finn Kay and Rob Crook who have dropped everything to assemble their teams and are now on the ground to rebuild the centre so that women will once again have a safe space to be and to cook for their families.

None of this is possible without your continued support both in person with your donations and multiple skill sets (we love meeting you) and with your hard earned money so please do continue to come and to spread the word that its not over in northern France..

With LOVE, DIGNITY and RESPECT we will continue to help others less fortunate..

THANK YOU…..

http://refugeecommunitykitchen.com/
https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/start.html?charity=147727

 

 

One year on…

One year ago today RCK served its very first meals to the refugee’s and volunteers living and working in the refugee camp in Calais, France called ‘The Jungle’.

Our first day we served 500 hot and healthy meals. On the menu that day was rice, dahl, salad, fresh fruit, bread and a drink. All produced from donated food from the UK and cooked by chefs and volunteers who gave up their normal lives to come and make a difference to others. It was the start of a year that we was not expecting when we decided to help in the growing crisis across the small stretch water in France.

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Our work goes on…

After last month’s evictions of the Calais camp, Refugee Community Kitchen has carried on feeding the 1200 residents of the Grande Synthe Camp in Dunkirk every day.

We are also coordinating, with the help of Calais Kitchens, the supply of fresh and dry food for the communal kitchens in Grande Synthe (run by SWK) that provide breakfast and dinner everyday as well as the stocking of the free shops that provide everything needed for the residents to cook for themselves  in the communal rocket-stove powered kitchens.

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