15 June 2009
09 June 2009
03 June 2009
“When the tsunami struck our shores, we stepped in and provided cooked meals to the affected people. Give2Asia was a partner there as well. I spoke to Sharadha de Saram, the Programme Consultant for Give2Asia Foundation and she immediately stepped on board and also suggested that we partner with Sarvodaya Foundation which is already providing food for the IDPs,” said Chef Mendis.
They went to work straightaway. “We set about implementing the programme as soon as we agreed on the concept. The day after the initial meeting we went to Vavuniya to assess what needed to be done,” said Sharadha.
The Chefs Guild plans to provide three meals a day for the 10,000 IDPs in Manik Farm camp Zone 2, Sarvodaya blocks 1, 4, 5, 8, 9. They have already made improvements to the community kitchens there.
Different menus have been planned and consideration will be given to nutritional aspects. The food is provided by the World Food Programme (WFP) whereas all the ingredients and improvements in the diet will be provided through donations from the public (see below).“We have spoken to a number of hotels and hotel management companies such as John Keells Holdings and Jetwing Hotels and they have promised to help,” said Chef Mendis.
Eight chefs will go to Vavuniya every week and will cook in six community kitchens that have been set up in the blocks. "Our chefs have the capability to do anything with any food and create a good meal anywhere from five star conditions to a community kitchen so we can adjust to any situation," said Haleesha Weerasinghe, President of the Chefs Guild who will be going to the camps.
“Cooking food for so many people is no easy task. We have to look at doing it systematically and we have to micro plan about issues such as quantities to prevent any possible wastage or shortage because the numbers in each zone are different. For this we need technical know how in cooking. This is where the chefs can come in a big way,” Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, Executive Director of Sarvodaya said.
“We are hoping to come up with a programme for these youth to be trained in cookery. So when they get out of the camp they will be able to make a career out of it. We lack the funds and are looking for donors to set up a proper programme,” Sharadha said.
The Chefs Guild and Sarvodaya are appealing for donations of rice, dhall and spices- chilli powder, turmeric, roasted curry powder, coriander powder, goraka, cinnamon, Maldive fish, salt, mustard seeds and ginger for the project.
For information contact Subasena de Silva at Sarvodaya on Tel: +94 777635015 or +94 112655110, or e-mail: email@example.com