Maintaining dignity in the most difficult circumstances
This lovely message was from two older gentleman that we delivered food to last night. They were the final people in the line for food at our Calais distribution, and just as we reached them, the food ran out.
They had been queuing for some time – the procedure is complex as people need to maintain at least a metre distance from each other and we get over 300 people at each distribution; it takes at least a couple of hours. And it’s extremely hard to manage with just seven volunteers and high tension due to food shortages.
These two men were so polite and kind about the food running out, but it was clear they were distressed. We had to do something. I went back to the warehouse and made up another pack to take back to them (and got a severe dressing down from the CRS police for being out again during the lock down).
But they were so grateful. And they sent this beautiful message.
It breaks my heart that they had to say thank you for something as simple as food just to survive. Old men should not be at the back of the line and at high risk of going hungry.
Now, as its been weeks since any clothes were distributed, the problems we are used to seeing – dirty trousers that have been worn for a month, soggy disintegrating shoes – are worse than ever. This is one of the lowest points I have seen in Calais – a fairly poor standard to start with.
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