The Chefs for the people initiative has been moving from strength to strength, after getting their first meals out to Lagos and Odiáxere’s needy in from the kitchen of The Green Room restaurant in late March.
Getting a humble 25 people fed on their first day at the office, in less than two weeks, they saw that number rise to 130. And the numbers are continuing to increase daily.
Using the skills of chefs from local restaurants to cook the meals, they began to build a network of local growers and produce vendors, and would take donations of unsold produce, as well as monetary donations, primarily from their friends at first, and create fantastic home-cooked meals, to be delivered to the vulnerable members of our community who were no longer able to support their families.
They soon built a team of volunteer drivers, and had delicious home-cooked meals delivered 7 nights a week from Lagos to Odiáxere and Bensafrim. They were directed to the families in need through various local food banks, and were soon being contacted directly through their facebook page, “chefes pelo povo/ chefs for the people”, by families who were suddenly and potentially permanently put out of work at the start of the summer.
In mid April, as The Green Room prepared to re-open for takeaway and delivery, they moved their center of operations to the football club in Odiáxere, where, with the help of the Odiáxere community, they continued to build their team, and their network, whilst still getting fantastic food, made with love, out to whomever may need it.
A story they would often hear is, a large family, with only one breadwinner working 2 jobs and waiting for their working season to start, having been laid off and not having any safety net to fall on. The problem is snowballing rapidly, and the sense of appreciation from some of the families has been quite moving for a lot of the volunteers involved.
Chefs for the people was created by Hamish Gall and Rita Sousa, and was shortly joined by the capable hands of Bea Hancock, in the days following the closure of The Green Room, the week before the state of emergency was declared.
They believe it is possible to create a sustainable, circular economy, that can take care of the most vulnerable members of the community, whilst at the same time helping workers and small businesses to survive the uncertain times ahead. They are a 100% volunteer, grass-roots non-profit association. They pay all volunteers with food if wanted. They are not associated with any religious or government organisation.
Please check their facebook page to get an idea what they are about, they post photos daily of the food they cook, and the smiles of their volunteers. There are many ways in which to help, donate, or support. Every body has something to offer.