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Support the City: Public Kitchen Yogyakarta

When humans are challenged, they come together to support each other. The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people in myriad ways, with financial hardship being faced by many. Public Kitchen Yogyakarta is a grassroots organisation working to offer a social response to support people through this challenging time.

The organisation has been producing food packages for a little over a week. Each day, a group of over twenty Indonesian and expat volunteers comes together to produce food to distribute to those people worst hit by the economic downturn.

Public Kitchen Yogyakarta

Founded by Iwan Wijono and Mohd Yunus bin Mohd, the project brings together art and social collectives such as SESAMA (@sesama_yogya), Nusantara Tribe (@nusantara_tribe), and Riverhouse Njomblang (@riverhouse.njomblang). Each organisation brings their own skills, with SESAMA producing hand sanitisers and face masks to give out with the food, Nusantara Tribe bringing administrative skills, and Riverhouse Njomblang offering their experience with organising projects.

The main focus of each day is food. Bu Nuni runs the kitchen, cooking up nutritious Indonesian food and coordinating those who volunteer in the kitchen. Once cooked, a team of volunteers packs up the day’s dishes, and each package comes with an educational leaflet.

“We want people to feel empowered and know that they can do simple things, like coughing into their elbow or keeping two metres away, to keep everyone in their community healthy,” Anissa Razali from Nusantara Tribe explained.

Daily workers are being particularly impacted in Yogyakarta. Traffic attendants, recycling collectors, andong drivers, and street musicians, among many others, have no source of income now that no visitors are coming to the city. The team knows the neighbourhoods that are struggling and go out to offer food and support.

The team of volunteers offer a range of skills. Along with assistance on cooking and packaging the food, administrative skills, management, social media engagement, and public relations are all important roles.

“Anyone can contribute with the skills they have. Even if you’ve never cooked in your life, people can still help with management, talking with people on social media, making deliveries. We’re a new team and we’re looking to develop,” said Anisia Garcia, who has experience with international NGO work and coordinates the volunteers for PKY.

With a logistics network already in place, the team at PKY are happy to accept donations of food packages and ensure they make it to the hands of those who need urgent support. On Wednesday, a local couple donated 63 parcels of cooked food which the team went to pick up and hand out.

Ingredients to cook are also welcomed. Vegan Fortunate Coffee in Yogyakarta recently donated piles of bread that the kitchen team made into sandwiches to give out. Staples like rice, tempe, and oil can be donated and the team will ensure that everyone will be kept updated about where their donation ends up.

Although only very recently founded, there has already been a groundswell of financial support. All donations are spent on food and fuel, ensuring all money goes straight to the people it’s intended for. PKY finances are open to scrutiny and public accounts will be regularly published, whilst maintaining the privacy of their contributors.

Contact the following for more information, to volunteer or to donate:

Instagram @publickitchenyogyakarta

Facebook facebook.com/publickitchenyogyakarta

Email publickitchenyogyakarta@gmail.com

WhatsApp +4407523294404 Anisia

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