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While France’s ‘Grand Froid’ policy provides emergency housing during the coldest of winter nights, RCK says hundreds of people are still sleeping outdoors in flimsy tents and makeshift shelters. The charity says that these refugees have no access to basic facilities, and are under constant threat of being violently evicted by the local authorities.
RCK and its sister charities Help Refugees, L'Auberge des Migrant, and Utopia 56 work through the night to support rough sleepers in Calais. Hot meals are served during the day, and at night mobile distributions deliver supplies like hot tea and hand warmers to those left out in the cold.
As temperatures drop lower than the team has ever experienced in Calais, RCK co-founder Paula Gallardo says: "Our hearts fill with fear for the young souls living in the forests in the area, who are trying to keep awake and alive through the night. We are driving out in teams, searching them out to give warmth and love in the form of tea and boiled eggs.”
Refugee Community Kitchen is entirely volunteer-run, and has now cooked two million meals since 1 December 2015. Donations have kept the project going, and allowed the group to buy exactly what it needs.
In addition to its efforts in northern France, the charity serves hot food to London’s homeless five nights a week. Like Calais, the current below freezing temperatures in the UK have created life-threatening conditions for those sleeping on the streets.
Refugee Community Kitchen is supported by Charity Pot. Find out more about volunteering or donating to RCK.