Six months ago we balked when the French authorities told us we needed to upgrade to a restaurant grade kitchen if we wanted to continue supporting refugees. The same authorities who where taking shoes, slashing sleeping bags and spraying pepper spray in water tanks, were concerned that we weren’t washing the salad for displaced peoples correctly. This demand however would bring us up to local norms, and would be a great improvement in functionality.
The amount of money and work needed was immense and intimidating, but after many hundreds of hours of planning, fundraising, and building we are proud to say that our new kitchen is almost ready!
It’s windy & rainy here but thankfully temperatures have not yet dipped to the normal biting autumn conditions. That being said, winter is coming.
Besides making 2550 meals a day (over 75,000 a month), and providing ingredients to those with cooking capacities, we are working hard on the new kitchen (it’s almost finished) and raising funds and awareness. We’ll needyour help if we are going to support people during the brutal winter months!
Our work is hard but we’re blessed compared to the 1200-1500 people living in horrible conditions in northern France. Local authorities continue their dissuade & disperse tactics, including violent dawn raids, bedding destruction, theft of footwear, etc., as if living outdoors without basic sanitation wasn’t bad enough.
We are dangerously low on funds, in order to carry on we need your help
Wash rice then soak in salted lukewarm water for about an hour.
Heat the oven to 190. Roast the chickpeas in olive oil and salt for 20 minutes-ish until golden & crunchy.
Peel the garlic and chop into chunks. Wash the Herbs and chop them finely.
Drain the rice then boil the mix of Herbs in water, oil & salt. Bring back to boil, wait five minutes and then boil the Basmati for 4/5th of the cooking process of the grain (until it is about 75% done). Drain.
Take a pot. Oil the bottom of it and add a sprinkle of water, add the rice, roasted chickpeas and garlic. Put the lid on and steam for 40 minutes on medium-low heat without opening.
At this point you should have a nice an fragrant smell of rice and herbs. Flip the pot upside-down and serve this crispy cake-shaped rice dish.
Work continues everyday in our temporary kitchen, supplying 2600 meals per day to refugees in the Calais and Dunkirk area. We are sadly very low on funds for the daily output and maintenance of our kitchen, coupled with the costs of building our new expanded kitchen to meet growing need and to fulfil French health and safety regulations.
After much planning and preparation, physical work has started on the construction of our new kitchen, we have had some very kind help with some costs toward this but are still very much in need of financial support.
With your help we have achieved so much, since our first meals cooked on the 1st of December 2015 we have made and distributed over 1,500,000 meals, not missing a day of service. This service has made a huge difference to many thousands of people, with your help we hope to continue this work here and in other areas of great need.
If you or any friends or groups you may know could help with fundraising please let us know, or if you can support us with a donation of any size, as a one off payment or a monthly donation, RCK and the people we support would be eternally grateful.
For over a year we have fed an average of 1500 refugees every day in the Calais area. Our diverse, delicious and nutritious meals have been received with gratitude and we are currently serving 2000 hot meals a day in Calais and Dunkirk, through static distribution and outreach as well as making weekly drops of food provisions for 4 unofficial camps in the Nor Pas de Calais area, helping an additional 500/600 people.
With our grassroots partners we have recently gone through the French courts and succeeded in upholding our right to distribute food and non-food aid free from police harassment and most time constraints. We have now been informed by the police that the prefecture has had to order all police to not obstruct or intimidate us in any way. They clearly did not fancy being shamed in court about their illegal and inhumane actions.
This means we can carry on with or essential work each and every day, with the only constraint being that we finish by 8pm. The food at the moment is really a life line to a growing community of displaced people that have no other support or infrastructure, the food is vital, the water is vital!
We have also compiled with the dictates of numerous government health inspections but are now being forced to build an entirely new kitchen! Whilst this build is taking place we will first have to set up a temporary field kitchen to be able to maintain the supply of hot food.
In Calais our largest compliance task is to create a new sanitary room to house our new kitchen. Work has started and we will use our kitchen truck and the neighbouring warehouse to carry on our current formidable output, to illustrate the volume, we are using 1000kg of rice every 4 days!
This new build needs lots of support to make it happen and avoid the kitchen being shut down. To close would result in hundreds of destitute refugees going without food in Calais environs.
Our new fundraiser has been created to raise the £35,000 needed for the rebuild with all the monies being spent on materials whilst the work is carried out by our incredible band of skilled volunteers.
We know with your incredible support we can re-build and continue our work so…. Please share! Please RT! Please donate!
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.