In the last three years, Europe has experienced the greatest mass movement of people since World World Two. There are currently over 21 million refugees worldwide, and 1.2 million people fleeing from war and terror in Syria, South Sudan, Myanmar and Iraq, need resettlement right now. The numbers are overwhelming and the news stories are very upsetting. Many of us want to help, but it’s hard to know how.   

Our friends at The Starfish Project partner with restaurants, cafes and food businesses in this country, who add an optional donation to customers’ bills, in order to raise funds food projects in locations where refugees are residing in camps, feeling scared, cold and hungry.

The Starfish Project was set up out of concern and heartache for the ongoing refugee situation, and a desire to ease the plight of as many people as possible by addressing some of their most pressing and basic needs.

Restaurants wanted

If you are a UK food business, The Starfish Project needs you. You can help The Starfish Project raise much needed funds through discretionary £1 added to every bill. It’s easy and free for you to set up as a Starfish partner restaurant. Find out how to get involved here and get in touch with them here.

Not a food business?

Never fear, you can also donate directly here as an individual. Or why not get in touch with your favourite restaurant to let them know about the project and how they can help?

Follow The Starfish Project on Twitter to keep up to date with their news, and find out more about the work they support below.

Any money they raise goes directly to projects working with displaced people in Greece and France. The Starfish Project is in contact with organisations and individuals along the key refugee routes, and receive regular information about what the needs are and how the situation is evolving. Any funds donated will go wherever they are most needed.

The Chios People’s Kitchen, Chios

The island of Chios in Greece lies less than 4.5m miles from the Turkish coast and has a population of 53,000 people. Chios has received over 157,500 refugees since June 2015. Before the EU-Turkey deal on 20 March, Chios was a stopping point on a longer journey towards a more hopeful future, away from devastation and war. Refugees spent one or two nights here in the camps and then took the ferry to Athens and further into Europe to seek asylum. Since the EU-Turkey deal the 1,700 refugees left on the island are not able to leave the island, with all borders into the rest of Europe closed. They live across 2 camps in big tents and one detention centre, all way beyond their full capacity, and lacking the most basic amenities.

The Chios People’s Kitchen is run by a dedicated team of volunteer refugees living on Chios Island. The team prepare delicious vegan meals for refugee children and toddlers. This initiative is more than just preparing meals for others. It’s a place of empowerment for the refugees who volunteer here and is also a positive example for the wider community to see how refugees can live and work alongside locals peacefully, harmoniously and successfully.

Hope Cafe, Athens

The Hope Café opened in February 2017 in Athens, Greece. Founded by a British woman based in Athens and run by a dedicated international team of volunteers, the café started by providing emergency food packs, clothing and baby equipment to asylum seeking refugees and Greek families in need in the Athens area. Many asylum seekers and refugees are living in squats and camps in and around Athens and are utterly dependent on voluntary groups like The Hope Café for their food. Since opening, the team have been overwhelmed with requests for food packs and urgently need funds to be able to help more people. In the first week of March last year they donated food packs to 253 families and this number is rising each week.

Refugee Community Kitchen, Dunkirk

Refugee Community Kitchen was created in the Autumn of 2015 to help the refugees living in the camps of Europe. Having seen tens of thousands of people forced to leave their homes and living in awful conditions in northern France, the Refugee Community Kitchen was set up by a group of event organisers, chefs, caterers, Doula’s teachers and activists, coming together to offer assistance in the form of nourishing meals and access to fresh food. RCK provide hot nourishing food on a daily basis to over 3000 men, women and children in Dunkirk and other camps across France.