Food market donations for Calais refugees

A truck of food donations from Cardiff’s Riverside Market is helping refugees in Calais.

Food donations for refugees at Riverside Farmers' Market.
Food donations for refugees at Riverside Farmers’ Market.

Riverside Community Markets Association in Cardiff is filling a truck of food donations to send to the refugees in Calais on the 14  of February. 

The first truck of donations, which started two weeks ago in the Welsh capital, was filled with fresh food and canned goods which was then prepared by 150-200 volunteers at the Refugee Community Kitchen in Calais.

Anthony Ollman, one of the members of the Riverside food donation initiative, says “A lot of people feel there is little they can do or they don’t know how to help. Some people feel bad by just giving money. They feel this is quite a direct route to supplies rather than giving money to charity. This is very direct.”

He explains that 90 percent of the volunteers in Calais are actually from the UK, 5 percent from France, and 5 percent from around Europe. “The kitchen is fantastic, full of volunteers. What I love about it is that it’s a collection of individuals who really want to do something about it. Finding solutions is the big issue for everyone.”

Bakeries in Cardiff Riverside Farmers Market. ©Jeremy Segrott
Bakeries in Cardiff Riverside Farmers Market. ©Jeremy Segrott

In Dunkirk, another camp of refugees near Calais, also receives donations from the Riverside food market. However, Anthony says it is harder to enter the camp there than the one in Calais. “They don’t let enter trucks, you need a special permission to enter because they don’t want people reparing the tents.”

Even if this is the case, Anthony and his team will continue to go. “We try to send a truck at least every month full of products, people have been very generous. We will try to go out again. I am definitely going in Easter, but we will try before.”

Riverside Farmers' Market