Malta's Victory Kitchen is organising a charity swim to help it become a permanent concept
A fundraiser is being organised by Rafel Sammut in aid of this noble cause.
Malta may be getting back unto its feet after experiencing the first strain of Coronavirus, yet for one local restaurateur who set up a a Victory Kitchen concept to ensure struggling families are fed, the pandemic has highlighted the longstanding effects of poverty on and is adamant to continue assisting them.
The kindhearted chef took to Facebook on Monday to reveal his plans to organize a fundraiser in aid of the Victory Kitchen: "We will be swimming 15k in aid of Victory Kitchen - Although the worst of COVID seems to be behind us, we are looking at continuing our services permanently. The swim will hopefully be a crucial part of funding the next 12 months," Rafel wrote.
During the swim, he will be joined by Keith Bartolo, with whom Rafel had swam another 15k last year for the Karl Vella Foundation: "Last year Keith Bartolo asked me to swim with in aid of Karl Vella Foundation . It turned out to be a 15k, force 4 headwind swim. But as long as it’s for a good cause! This year, he is returning the favor," he wrote.
There is no denying the positive impact of Rafel's Victory Kitchen: in the past four months alone, he as the chef patron of Briju along with seven other restaurants - Noni, MedAsia, Danny's, Mannarinu, Plan H, Madliena Cottage, and Sarracino’s – prepared over 18,000 meals.
"eCabs have been delivering all our food for the last months. They sent 3 to 4 taxis a day and each taxi would do a route of 3 to 4 different houses – it’s quite a big job on their end," Rafel enthuses.
"The first two months were a lot more hectic. Now it's calmed down quite a lot," he continues. Indeed, the number of participating restaurants has decreased as many have returned back to their business. Rafel too is back to running his own restaurant, but he is determined to see the Victory Kitchen persevere in its noble goal: "I’ll be relocating one of my own chefs full-time. I want someone who has been doing this with me from the beginning," he said.
Rafel is aiming to raise 40,000 to help see the concept through for the next eight to 12 months: "Our new investment to set up the kitchen is going to be a bit costly, so then we just need to top up with utilities, wages and pay suppliers for food," he explained, adding that most of this sum will be met through corporate sponsors.
A number will shortly be set up for donations to be sent in, however people can also volunteer at the kitchen: "We've had home cooks helping us sometimes, people who want to donate their time, or food, are more than welcome," he says.
"If there are any other restaurants who want to jump on board, they can. The worst seems to be behind us but some people are still struggling."
A true COVID-19 hero!