A food poverty charity crossed the Channel to help feed hundreds of refugees sleeping rough in Calais.
Felix Project delivers food to Calais refugees sleeping rough after ‘Jungle’ demolition
The Felix Project , at the heart of the Evening Standard’s Food for London Campaign, took a van packed with fresh food and supplies to people living near the former “Jungle Camp”, which was cleared and demolished by the French authorities two years ago.
The London-charity — set up by the family of Felix Byam Shaw, who died aged 14 from meningitis in 2014 — has delivered food which would otherwise go to waste to thousands of vulnerable people in the capital.
Felix’s brother Dan, who made the made the journey to Calais with two cousins, outlined the difficulties facing aid workers there.
He said: “The refugees themselves are actually very hard to find nowadays. After the demolition of the Calais Jungle they’ve become much less visible.
“It’s harder to find the refugees, and even harder for charities to work with them. The fall of the Calais Jungle has actually made things harder for a lot of people.”
At its peak, the camp was home to about 8,000 refugees living in the makeshift tent-city. Campaigners claim that since the camp’s demolition, hundreds of refugees, including families with young children, remain stuck at the port and have resorted to sleeping rough in the woods.
The supplies were delivered to the Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK), which feeds vulnerable people in the Hauts-de-France region covering Calais and Normandy. The organisation is based in a warehouse run by migrant aid association Utopia 56 on an industrial estate. RCK Organiser Jennie Mac said: “We are doing everything we can to make sure no one goes hungry.
“The temperature went down tosix degrees last week and we are very concerned about the dangerous winter approaching.”
She said French authorities regularly confiscated refugees’ belongings or instilled a hostile environment. She added: “These people are just looking for a safe place and the UK has managed to sell the world a dream that we are a safe country and that we care. And some of us do, but not enough to make change.”
The Felix Project recycles food items from more than 100 retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers that would otherwise have ended up in landfill and ensures they go to the most needy.