STILL Feeding the Need: Supporting the refugees in Calais

The refugee crisis in Calais and Dunkirk is presently worse than it’s ever been and help is needed more now than ever. This film is an overview of the present situation and a plea for help.

Since the dismantlement of the Calais Jungle and the fire in Dunkirk, Refugee Community Kitchen is now the only organisation from the UK making food and are currently serving 2500 portions a day.

The refugees continue to arrive, fleeing their uninhabitable homelands – hoping to find some peace and a place to settle. They are living in extremely difficult conditions, they have no services and no safe places. As there are no camps, they are being forced into the woods and wasteland, avoiding the authorities and face continual police harassment.

All volunteering, donations and sharing of info is greatly appreciated. Please spread the word and/or volunteer if you can spare the time.

Appeal for Refugee Community Kitchen Rebuild

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!

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

What it takes to cook 2500 meals in RCK every day

Every day to cook the food we serve to the residents in the Calais and Dunkirk camps we use every penny you donate as wisely as we can.
We are cooking 2500 meals a day at least, with the numbers rising daily.
The cooks are ploughing through huge amounts of food:
100 kilos of dried beans every day
150 kilos of rice every day
150 kilos of onions every day
10 kilos of garlic every day
80-100 kilos of salad every day
20 litres of sunflower oil every day
10 litres of olive oil every day
5 kilos of salt every day
8 kilos of spices and chilli every day
Plus as much bread and fruit as we can muster to hand out every day, all
lovingly prepared by tireless volunteers.
Without your donations, we can not sustain this output.
Huge gratitude to all of you that are helping every day – without you all this would not be possible – let’s do more!

Update on The Grand Synthe/La Linere Camp (Old Dunkirk)

Our build work in Dunkirk is now complete and we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you who have supported all of us along the way. Without your donations we would never have been able to build the onsite community catering kitchen, wood fired self-service kitchens, sheltered communal areas, woman’s area and free shops, that enabled the refugees in the new camp at Dunkirk to create and cook their own meals for themselves, their friends and families. Not only could they cook nutritious meals to their own taste but it restored much needed dignity in a camp that, though new, was still woefully free of amenities.

Working together with MSF, Refugee Community Kitchen, Aid Box Convoy, Artists in Action, Finn Kay and Rob Crook we’ve managed to put some light in the darkness which would never have been possible without your generosity. Every penny you donated, every pound you raised was spent on this worthy cause and we are all beyond grateful, and we know the refugees are too.

On the visit we made to camp just a few days ago our hearts where overjoyed to see all communal kitchens being used in full swing, different cultures sharing space, wood and ingredients, cooking in shifts and sharing times together eating and chatting. Delicious foods of all sorts being made, paratha’s, chips, curries, dal, rice, pasta, soups and salads. The rockets stoves seem to have been mastered by all, achieving all power needs, from frying to boiling to simmering, the taste of the wood smoke adding to the delicious taste of the food, that was offered to us by all we met, Kurdish, Iranian, Iraqi, and Afghani alike, the gratitude and thanks was overwhelming.

Although the build of Dunkirk communal kitchens is now complete, we at Refugee Community Kitchen continue to supply hot meals daily and support dry food distribution to over 1000 refugees in Dunkirk and over 9000 refugees in Calais – our new fundraiser can be found here.

Again, thank YOU so very much xx

The RCK Team xxxx