WHAT WE DO
Providing food and water for refugees in Northern France
We are a grassroots organisation supporting displaced people in Calais and Dunkirk primarily with cooking ingredients, such as rice, onions, beans, and fresh veg, as well equipment to cook with and water.
We set up in spring 2020 as an emergency response to the pandemic, when other NGOs were forced to suspend services, to ensure people still had access to food. Now, we continue our work distributing ingredients as it gives people greater autonomy in cooking their own food to suit their own tastes, practices and schedules - and is safer during a pandemic. We operate as a freeshop, allowing people to choose and order the food they want, which is different each distribution. We distribute every day across different sites in Calais, and in Dunkirk twice a week, reaching approximately 1500 people.
However, the situation in Calais is volatile and constantly changing, so we aim to support people in the way that best suits them. This means we also provide water to those who have no other access, we give out emergency food packs to communities after police evictions, and we distribute hot food in the town centre every evening to those sleeping on the streets.
As a small team of long-term volunteers who are all on the ground, we are able to adapt our service to people’s needs in a context where circumstances are always unstable. Our aim is to facilitate autonomy and choice as much as possible, but also to show up whenever and however we are needed.
Calais Food Collective was part of the umbrella organisation L’Auberge des Migrants - now a french organisation - but operates with the support of l'Auberge Utopia56. We also work closely with the WoodYard, who distribute firewood, giving people the means to cook and prepare our food.
The response to our service, alongside the relationships of trust and the routine we have established amongst communities, is why we plan to continue our services for as long as we are needed.
We are very grateful to those who have, and continue to support us and our work. We cannot function without your donations, love and support.