Every Wednesday, since August 2020, the preparation of the community kitchen of the Union of Residents and Workers (UMT) begins, located in the region known as Bolsão Formosa, in the Novo Mundo neighborhood of Curitiba.
The name is due to the river that crosses the region and involves the villages Maria and Uberlândia, Canaã, Leão, Candinha, Ferrovila and Formosa. Some of these occupations turn 30 on September 7th and, unfortunately, remain without a solution for the regularization of the lots.
:: Popular and trade union committee for life and against hunger occupies community kitchen in CG ::
On Wednesday, beans are then prepared and some vegetables are separated, organized by historical residents of the region, such as Edicléia de França, from the village of Uberlândia. Dona Tereza, Dirce, Leandro, Leonel, Luzia, are several names that circulate in the association of residents of Vila Uberlândia, stage of the community kitchen. The work is completed on Thursday mornings.
200 weekly meals
Every week, at midday, an average of 200 meals are served, a demand that rises with the current situation of unemployment and, also, underemployment, which affects, in Brazil, up to 32.9 million people.
The starting point was the solidarity donations from organizations such as the MST, alongside the oil workers and bank unions. Workers help workers. The average cost of R$250 per month for the purchase of chicken and kitchen supplies is complemented with a campaign to fund society.
The structural materials were collected from progressive sectors of the Church. In one year, just in the neighborhood, around 10,000 meals were produced. On August 19, the year-long celebration date, 400 meals and a risotto menu are produced for seven communities.
:: Marmitas da Terra celebrates 1 year with the distribution of 55 thousand meals in Curitiba and region ::
The kitchen teams take turns every 15 days, one of them also counting on the support of an occupied area in another neighborhood – Nova Guaporé 2. In addition, every Wednesday the Marmitas da Terra collective, which produces 1100 meals for the people living on the streets, donating vegetables and fruits from the agrarian reform and, above all, from the Contestado settlement in Lapa. The concrete work that brings these foods to life relies on voluntary work, showing that production does not need to be tied to market values.
Profile. “Are you depressed? Come to the association”
The slogan above was said by Irma Maria Prestes Araújo, 72, a historical resident since September 7, 1991, in the so-called Ferrovila. She recently reconnected with the residents’ association and became involved with everything in the community kitchen. Irma shared her formal service time as a state school employee, nurse and caregiver, has three children, and says that the village was opened “in her arm”.
Faced with the indifference of Jaime Lerner’s city hall, Irma participated in the two-day camp at the Civic Center to fight for housing.
“We set up a tent, took pots, food, Requião helped, Vanhoni too, there were two days of occupation. I took a break from the association, now I’m back to helping. I need to be busy, I like cooking, I love helping people, people really need it. It’s a place to meet people too”, he says.
Popular cuisine in Ceará
States such as Ceará also have the organizational experience of community cooking. In less than four months, starting on Mother’s Day, the popular kitchen, as it is called, serves the Bela Vista Community, an occupied area in Fortaleza, three days a week, with an average of 600 meals a week.
The assessment is that the kitchen is a tool that helps to understand the community’s problems. “The kitchen has the potential to open up other possibilities, we are thinking of urban gardens, literacy classes, some ladies who have been joining the work, we realized the need for literacy”, reports Bruna Raquel Ferreira de Castro, a militant of the Workers’ Movement and Workers for Rights (BAT).
Source: BoF Paraná
Edition: Frédi Vasconcelos