Refugees find new ways of cooking post-evictions
After another busy day of food distribution, we’re struck once again by people’s ingenuity, resilience and desire for self-sufficiency. After most of their cooking equipment was destroyed by authorities, a number of the refugees here have started cooking again. Using tin cans as pots, they prepare hot food over open fires on the waste ground around Calais.
This means we can start giving out cooking packs again. One pack aims to last four people three days, and contains things like oil, tomatoes, beans, dates, pasta, chicken, fruit, sugar, tea, onions, garlic, juice and milk.
Most of the evicted refugees have re-gathered in groups, forming small communities based on friendships or common languages. But the evictions have left some wandering isolated – as seemed to be the case with one man, who turned up alone today. He wanted cooking supplies but didn’t have anyone to team up with.
We have individual snack packs available to ensure no individual is left unfed, but cooking enables people to prepare food that meets their dietary needs, as well as giving a sense of agency and independence.
We noticed the man hanging back, sitting apart from the crowd, seemingly unsure of what to do. Then, by a stroke of luck, a group of three arrived. We asked them if they would mind teaming up, and all four of them jumped at the chance – the three newcomers had no reservations about welcoming a stranger into their group, to share mealtimes for the next few days, perhaps longer.
To help us provide food packs for refugees, please donate at care4calais.org/donate