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!

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

Latest on the fire at Grande Synthe in Dunkirk

17903541_10158493280585384_673737028790384261_nAs some are aware the Dunkirk Refugee Camp, Grande Synthe, was all but destroyed by fire late Monday evening. The phone calls started around 9.30pm and what followed was a tragic and long night where refugees once again had to flee to safety, losing their papers, their belongings – the little they had managed to hold on to was gone.

With the incoming news, all the volunteers from Refugee Community Kitchen arrived at the warehouse at the same time, the lights went on, the gas rings lit, chai put on the boil, flapjacks cut up, more pulses put in to soak, teams formulated, plans hatched, logistics and safety plans repeatedly talked out and constant communication with all other groups on the ground. Continue reading

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

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Women’s Centre Re-opening

On the 7th January 2017 we had the awful news that the Women’s Centre in the Grande Synthe Refugee Camp was gutted by a fire.

Refugee Community Kitchen came down to the camp to see the devastation caused and had a meeting with Dunkirk / Dunkerque Refugee Women’s Centre and straight away agreed that the Centre must be rebuilt as soon as possible. We had meetings with the Mayors office and called on the super team of Finn Kay and Rob Crook who along with RCK designed and built the centre in March 2016.

With a few design tweaks worked out with The Women’s Centre team, new plans were submitted to the Mayor’s office and, once we had permission to repair, the team started full steam ahead to get the centre up and running as quickly as possible.

The build is now complete and we are very happy that the centre is now being handed back to The Women’s Centre team to give back a safe space and distribution to the women of the camp.

None of this would have been possible without the amazing response we had from the build team and to the many groups pledging their support in materials and funding.

RCK and The Women’s Centre would like to send a massive thanks to:

All of the wonderful individual people supporting us with their continued volunteering, donations and emotional support.

The Amazing Build Team

Finn Kay, Rob Crook, Matt Curtis, David Onthewayeast, Alan Mitchell, Sam Jones, Janie Mac, will Thomson, Steve Hyslop, Dirk Vanreusel, Alex Fry, George Brown, Henry Brown, Benji Sowter, Lally Mergler, Tom Keeling, Columba Keeling, Phill Parsley, Alex Chalcraft, Robyn Glass, Rosie Zallik Whitman, Laurel Poloway, Josh Cox, Alan Vance, Dan Shillabeer, Richard Corrall, Martin Capuano, Tom Mattey, Gwarm Ination, Epifany Echegoyen, Quentin Johns, Tom Whitehead

if i have missed any please do let me know and i will add you in..

The wonderful NGOs and Orgs for their material and financial support

Mayors office Grande Synthe
L’auberge des migrants international, Building Support through Shelter, LUSH UK, LDS Charities, Brighton Shelter Build Project, Care4Humanity, Carry The Future, Dunkirk Adult Learning Centre

Please continue supporting RCK and The Women’s Centre so we can continue to support those in need.

Thank You

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/
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