Here in Chiang Mai the local population is much more dependent on tourist income and casual labour than most other Thai cities. The recent lockdown due to the pandemic has brought many people to the brink of desperation. It is estimated that 100.000 people are now unemployed with no financial safety net and none likely in the near future.
But Chiang Mai people are resilient and caring, and many individuals and businesses, already suffering from the downturn themselves, have spontaneously set up free food stalls to help those in dire need.
When we heard of the first such initiative, we immediately contacted Kenneth Rimdahl, the owner of Monsoon Tea, a social enterprise with a big heart for the local community. They produce ‘forest friendly tea’ and run a restaurant with a tea-themed menu.
Each day Monsoon Tea prepared 200 freshly cooked nutritious meals free to those in need at an average cost of 30 THB (0,80 EUR) per meal. Initially, 130 meals were distributed at the restaurant and 70 meals were sent to the Srimongkol Community in Chiang Mai.
After supplying almost 40.000 hot meals over eight months, the time has come to wrap up our Free Food Campaign. All recipients of this food support have their own story. There are those who had no other choice than to return home to their hometown; others have been able to find a new source of income, or, possibly could return to their old jobs, so the reasons why we set up this project have almost disappeared, and it is time to close the project.
The support we’ve received from you has been genuinely heartwarming to see. We never expected to be able to run the project for so long or to help so many. But in the last several weeks we’ve seen a drop off in the numbers of people affected by Covid-19 using the service.
And since starting this campaign some of our existing projects, helping migrant workers, their families, and refugees, have contacted us with their emergency food needs. So we are now also providing emergency food packages for about 2100 people who are no longer able to work to feed their families or able to leave their camps for work.
Rice rice and cooking oil for 3 months. Click here to find out more about this Partner.
Ban Pha Lai Community School
4 months supply of rice, cooking oil, canned fish, eggs and noodles for 10 of the worst hit families of students of the school. Click here to find out more about this Partner.
Goals and Results
To provide 200 free freshly cooked nutritious meals to the local population of Chiang Mai that have been severely affected by the economic downturn.
To provide emergency food support for 2100 refugees, migrant workers and the poorest students’ families at 4 of our existing projects.