City worker's Calais food gesture

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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

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City worker's Calais food gesture

Zain Khalish has been collecting excess fresh produce and providing it to charities offering meals to refugees

City worker's Calais food gesture

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A City worker has been taking surplus fresh produce to refugees in Calais to help ease the humanitarian crisis in the French town.

Zain Khalish made the decision to help following a holiday to Europe in March, when he volunteered to help refugees displaced following the closure of the Calais Jungle. As many as 2,500 people require meals in the town, with charities reliant upon donations from producers.

Starting with oats and porridge, Khalish moved on to contact fresh produce growers to ask for donations, as well as buying excess product from them. He collected crops from farms and paid for vans to deliver them to the Refugee Community Kitchen charity in Calais, which in turn provides meals to those in need.

Funding the whole venture himself, in his latest delivery Khalish sent a van with 80 sleeping bags, 175kg of apples, 200kg of shallots, 200kg of carrots, 5,000 small eggs, 100kg of mixed veg, 500kg of potatoes, as well as clothes and toiletries.

This week he collected 15-20 tonnes of pumpkins from a farm in Maidstone, and is also working with producers in France.

Suppliers including Parrish Farms, Produce World and Alan Bartlett have contributed, and Khalish hopes to continue his work by linking up with other food redistribution organisations, such as Feedback. 

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