Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Point Au Chene Media Bus

The Bus is providing this free kitchen with internet access so they can continue feeding those in need in the deep Bayou. The people who populate this area have been here for hundreds of years, they are indigenous. They receive NO HELP from the government because the government would like them to move, they can not move without loosing their oil and mineral rights and they can not exploit their oil and mineral rights because the government/corporations don't want red skins to profit.

Also pictured... Felipe's bus and EveryBody's Kitchen.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Traveling kitchen provides home-cooked relief

Nikki Buskey~Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 at 4:05 p.m.

HOUMA — Everybody has a right to a home-cooked meal, regardless of their income or situation in life.

Everybody's Kitchen volunteers Anne and Floppy, both of whom use only their first names, prepare dinner Monday inside one of the organization's two buses outside St. Charles Bromeo Catholic Church in Pointe-Aux-Chenes.

That's the premise of Everybody's Kitchen, a group of volunteer chefs who retrofitted an old school bus into a self-sustained, solar-powered kitchen that they use to travel the country feeding the homeless and providing disaster-relief meals.

The organization has temporarily set up shop at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1237 La. 665 in Pointe-aux-Chenes. They're preparing breakfast and dinner for residents of Pointe-aux-Chenes and Isle de Jean Charles, as well as shipping meals to Dulac residents.

Anyone can stop by and pick one up, said Everybody's Kitchen volunteer James McGuinness.

The cooks, a "revolving door" of volunteers who also fed people in New Orleans' Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina, hooked up with the New Orleans-based relief group Common Ground Collective to service damaged communities in Terrebonne after hurricanes Gustav and Ike, McGuiness said.

"When you're trying to work on your house, or get your business going, you don't always have time to cook," said McGuinness, 52, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Everybody's Kitchen has been operating since 1992, McGuinness said, and has done disaster relief in Minneapolis, Mississippi and New Orleans, fed needy people on Los Angeles' Skid Row and traveled to Mexico to feed deported immigrants.

"The focus of this is that everyone has a right to eat, broke or not. We will share with anyone, and anyone who wants to share with us can," said a 41-year-old Detroit volunteer known only as Floppy.

He was manning the buses built-in propane stove Monday, preparing red beans and rice, a south Louisiana staple.

"It's Monday, what else?" he said, adding that everywhere the kitchen travels, they try to take a cue from locals about what to cook, learning their recipes and adding to their repertoire.

Long-haired and long-traveled, the group of traveling, food-distributing gypsies might be a strange sight to some locals.

Their 12 volunteers work out of two school buses — on painted orange and and the other in a bright shade of blue. When the weather is nice, they cook outside under a tarp.

The volunteers camp on the church lawn, and they've been given access to the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church rectory where they have established an an impromptu business office to keep in contact with businesses who might want to donate cooking items.

"It's beautiful here," McGuinness said of south Terrebonne. "The people are very friendly, and we're happy to be helping out where there's a real need."

The workers will stay and cook as long as they're needed and wanted, he added.

Floppy stressed that the group isn't a charity in the conventional sense, but they do operate using donations from businesses and others.

"We've had people stop by and drop off oysters, shrimp, crabs," McGuinness said. "Anything they drop off, we'll cook up."

The group steamed the crabs, and local residents appreciated the meal, though McGuinness said they later discovered that's not the way the seafood is traditionally prepared in bayou country.

"I guess most people boil them down here," he said. "We talk to the people that come down, try to figure out what they like. We love the food down here anyway -- anything that spices things up."

If you want to get in touch with Everybody's Kitchen to help their effort with a donation, supplies or food, or if you just need to grab a meal, you can find them at the St. Charles Borromeo Church in Pointe-aux-Chenes, or call them at 504-421-1205.

They can also be reached by mail at
Everybody's Kitchen
P.O. Box 115
Montegut, LA 70377.