The truck with our food aid arrived at the border yesterday midday with 2310 food parcels for the stranded people in no-mans-land. A trip of 400 km from Cairo.
In four days, through emails to our social networks which spread out across the communities, we raised a magnificent LE11,600 (US$1,951, £1,190) cash, and also food supplies, as Egyptians and foreigners reached deep into their pockets to help.
The money was enough to hire the truck and driver, and fill it completely, because The Egyptian Chefs Association, working with World Chefs without Borders, converted the money into 2310 food parcels using their wholesalers, and EgyptAir who provided 10,000 individually wrapped bread-rolls at cost price.
Four of us went down on Monday afternoon to The ECA office in the Agouza district of Cairo to pack the food parcels in a concentrated efficient four hours with their staff. The enthusiasm of the office staff for this humanitarian aid was infectious.
The ECA looked after the logistics of hiring the truck and driver etc. as they already had responded to the crisis by sending 5 trucks of food aid from Cairo, and bottled water from Alexandria, with sponsorship from the food and beverage industry. They had also sent buses early on to transport Egyptians home from the border.
Each food parcel, intended for one person, contained 1 drink, 4 bread-rolls, 3 cheese triangles, 1 jam, 1 date bar, 2 muesli bars.
One donor perhaps summed up the reason why the fundraising was so successful when she commented that: “Events are all so big at the moment, I feel a bit helpless, but my contribution to this will make a difference. It’s personal, and on my level.”
A balance of LE1,700 and some food supplies remained. The people stranded at the border still remain also. The fundraising has widened its network and the target is now to raise money for another food truck, perhaps also bottles of water from Alexandria. With such resolve from the group and enthusiasm from the social networks, there can be no doubt that this will be achieved