Meet our fantastic food-unloaders in Calais!
This team has just unloaded a vital delivery of food, bought with your generous donations. Seeing them work made me feel proud: together in just two hours they moved 495 kg of flour, 1400kg of rice, 2,040 bottles of oil, 3,600 packets of biscuits, 6000kg sugar and 26,832 tins. It was all hands on deck and no slacking, and a great atmosphere all the way the way through.
Looking at these supplies, it’s also amazing to think what will happen next. Our food packs include essentials including rice, beans, halal chicken, fish, tea, sugar, cooking oil, milk and spices. They are important, because as well as providing the hot nourishment so badly needed in this weather, they offer a very different experience from having to queue for cooked food doled out in a line.
It never ceases to amaze me how varied and resourceful the refugees are here when it comes to cooking using these basics, conjuring up meals that remind them of home.
Take rice for example. Guys from West African countries will make jollof rice using the tomato puree we include. Some from Yemen make Mandi, others from Syria do Mansaf, and a friend of mine from Iran makes Tahdig, which uses the rice made crispy at the bottom of the pot. I tried making the Tahdig myself after he explained it to me, but let’s just say I need a bit more practice!
At the moment we’re giving out 450 food parcels a week in Calais and Dunkirk.
These simple ingredients help to restore feelings of humanity and dignity. Thanks to everyone who has helped us to provide them. Food is our biggest single expense. To keep us going, please contribute at care4calais.org/donate