Art Relief Mobile Kitchen (ARMK) has been feeding delicious and hot comfort food to more than 2,000 evacuees daily since the Taal Volcano eruption that displaced thousands of families.
With a “kitchen powered by love” operating on the creed that disaster-stricken families’ burdens are made a little bit lighter when they have warm meals served to them, the group of volunteers from Manila, Los Banos, and Batangas led by Precious Leano and Alex Baluyut quickly set up their community kitchen to feed the Taal evacuees.
Their first Taal kitchen was set up for evacuees housed at the Redemptorist Church in Lipa City, Batangas, some two kilometers away from the danger zone.
Their second ARMK community kitchen just started over the weekend in Alfonso, Cavite where they feed the hungry evacuees housed by the Luntiang Republika Ecofarm.
The group, announcing their free hot meals are being served “in exchange for a smile”, has been setting up mobile kitchens since 2013 when Super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck Leyte and the Philippines. They have been feeding evacuees from war and natural disasters since then.
Art Relief Mobile Kitchen’s delicious meals are cooked by volunteers together with evacuees on site at the evacuation centers using ingredients that are sometimes sourced from donations.
Their mobile kitchens at the two evacuation centers are no different – those who answered their call for 30-40 volunteers per day from January 19-25, 2020, who will assist in preparing and distributing freshly cooked meals continue to be answered.
So far the ARMK kitchens have been graced by Chef Ida, Chef Mark, Chef Arvin David Quiloy, and Chef Waya Araos-Wijangco, and a good number of volunteers helping to prepare ingredients and distribute the cooked meals.
Fresh ingredients have been coming in from donations, from workers in Cavite, farmers from Cuenca in Batangas, and notably from farmers of Benguet and Sagada.
A catering class from the University of the Philippines College of Home Economics on Wednesday set up to help cook and distribute food from ARMK for the Taal refugees at the Alfonso Central School.
ARMK’s Precious Leano is buoyed up by the Pinoy Bayanihan spirit of helping others in need.
“We have OPM music playing and lots of smiles and laughter to go around. This is bayanihan at its best!” Precious Leano enthusiastically shares in her social media post from the ARMK kitchen in Batangas.
ARMK continues to call for donations of skills and ingredients. Cash donations are also welcomed at BPI Account Name ART RELIEF MOBILE KITCHEN INC Account No 0911 0161 68.
Please sign up in either of the two ARMK Field Kitchens:
ARMK- Redemptorist Lipa, Batangas
ARMK- Luntiang Republika Ecofarm, Alfonso, Cavite
Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own eating utensils, hygiene and first aid kits. There are modest sleeping quarters for volunteers who opt to stay overnight. Please bring a sleeping bag or hammock.
For more information, please contact Ura Sevilla at 09566742461 or send her a personal message via Messenger.
With reports from Blesilda dela Cruz.
More and more volunteers are joining the bayanihan drive to alleviate the sufferings of Taal evacuees displaced by the eruption on January 12, 2020. Taal Volcano remains on heightened Alert Level 4 and people have not been able to return to their homes.
Fans of Sarah Geronimo and boyband SB19 have raised funds for the victims, even as overseas Filipinos gathered support to join the many ordinary Filipinos, government and private groups that immediately sent help to the displaced families.
SEND YOUR HELP through any of the above mentioned groups to help spread the message to the Taal evacuees that they are not forgotten.
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