On November 28th, we proudly launched our Christmas Campaign - our partnership with Refugee Community Kitchen #ANTICONSUMPTION appeal, aiming to raise around £10,000 for RCK's Outreach project.
In addition, we dedicated 10% of our all items on our shop (excluding collaboration designs), to our campaign, along with a selection of highly over-priced t-shirts. As of writing this at 4PM on Monday 2 December, we've raised £600, which is worth approximately 1,200 hot meals for the homeless and refugee communities serviced by the project. But we aren't done yet - not by a long shot.
From now until the end of December, we will continue to raise funds for our £10K target, which will also include all sales from our Christmas Warehouse Social! We also asked our peeps at RCK for an update on their work and RCK Outreach. The wonderful Janie Mac, who heads up RCK Outreach writes:
Not sure where to start when we start talking about Refugee Community Kitchen Outreach - it’s potential reach and impact is huge. Refugee Community Kitchen set up in Calais in Dec 2015. Its first RCK outreach started in Camden, in 2016 as a response to a growing crisis on our streets. We also had the intention of supporting refugees that have ended up in the UK, who receive little or no support impacting the already growing numbers of homeless people.
However, while there were refugees that came and used our services, there also came the rough sleepers. What took us by surprise were the many layers of different people that were in need of our services and their many, many different reasons for being there. They weren’t just rough sleepers, but also statutory and the ‘hidden’ homeless. These are people staying in hostels, B&B’s, sleeping on friends sofas, those that are left off the official statistics.
We then have guests who are low-waged, unemployed, those in food poverty - people that have to make the choice between fuel or food. We had users of food banks who were restricted by the number of times they were allowed to use their local services. We had those that have mental health and physical disabilities, who have been left fend for themselves, and we have those that have no life skills, people that just can’t cook.
There are so many vulnerable people in our society that are broken and sometimes not fixable, who are in need of constant support and care. The stories of systemic failings have only enforced the need for a service like RCK Outreach on our streets. We serve a hot nourishing meal and provide a little time, space and safety where other services can be facilitated.
It would be amazing to be able to grow and be of service to more vulnerable people - but at the moment we literally cook out of our homes, and this creates restrictions in numbers. We are feeding around 500 guests a week in 3 locations and using food that would otherwise be destined for landfill, addressing several institutions’ waste food problems. This keeps the costs of the meals down but we still have considerable overheads. We use sustainable biodegradable vegware, but these obviously come at a cost and then there is transport and general utilities. To continue to serve 2,000 people per month for a year, we need support. We need to be able to grow.
As we walk around we see the growing need, there is no ignoring this crisis and there is nothing worse than knowing we have the skills to make a difference - lack the financial support to meet the most basic of needs.
At the moment 1 in 200 people in this country are homeless and there are many, many more people that need us, and deserve to be able to enjoy good, healthy meals.
This year we are teaming up with THTC to raise funds, to raise awareness of food poverty in the UK, the importance of showing solidarity and looking after each other. Big thanks to THTC for helping us continue providing food to those in need without judgement.
Let Food be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food.
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