Sustainable relief efforts need infrastructure. Every fire season I show up to put in my work. Please help me build a long term relief structure for Herzog Hall Kitchen at the Petaluma Fair Grounds for disaster evacuees.
Im Chef Miriam Donaldson in Petaluma California, and the founding chef of Sonoma Family Meal.
The seasonal fires in Sonoma County affect everyone in our community, but the acute impact to evacuees can be an extremely traumatic and hungry experience.
While there are non-profit groups that help manage the work load of cooking and comforting those who need it most, the actual physical work often falls on the backs of volunteer chefs and community members.
Last year during fire season I found myself heading the kitchens at the Petaluma Fair Grounds which houses up to 700 people. Now thats a LOT of hungry folks who need and deserve care.
Our little group managed to do it and do it well! We installed new kitchen equipment on the fly, pulled together healthy meals for hundreds and worked closely with the other evacuation sites in petaluma to share resources.
This year we will be stretched thinner than ever and safe care for our community will be even more important.
I aim to bring our kitchen fully up to safety code, equip ourselves with the proper equipment (ever try making rice for 700 in a regular kitchen pot!? Lol ) and establish a mobile community accessible kitchen kit that can be dispatched to various relief kitchens as needed.
Basically i need lots of big pots and pans, a small trailer to move things around, PPE for volunteers, and a huge list of small wares.
Monies contributed to this fund will directly impact those in crisis and will help us lower the environmental impact of cooking for so many people. Good planning reduces single use plastic, water and food waste. All funds will also go towards long term support solutions for our community. A kitchen that is built to perform relief is cheaper and safer to run than one cobbled together in a panic.
So help me plan ahead! Ill do the work, but I need your help. And I really need that rice cooker yall.
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