An unfortunate reality of the coronavirus pandemic is that those who were struggling before the virus hit are struggling even more now.
However, these unprecedented times tend to see the rise of some unlikely heroes out there and one of Malta’s saving grace has been the establishment of Victory Kitchen – a project born out of a desire to feed the less fortunate during COVID-19 crisis but with a vision to carry it forward into the post-pandemic world.
“Victory Kitchen is a mix of understanding and anticipating the situation that COVID-19 was going to have on families who are already struggling,” Rafel Sammut, founder of Victory Kitchen and Owner and Chef at Gżira’s Briju, told Lovin Malta.
“My chefs and I also wanted to put ourselves in good use. We are used to working long hours every week and sitting at home wasn’t doing justice.”
Thus, Victory Kitchen was born and since its conception, six restaurants (Noni – Valletta, Saracino’s – Attard, Madliena Lodge – Swieqi, Danny’s – Qormi, Plan H – San Ġwann, Mannarinu Caterers – Ħamrun) have joined the cause, collectively producing between 600-700 meals for people in need.
The name bears more significance that one might think and harkens back to a communal kitchen set up in World War II to feed the Maltese people.
“People are comparing our current situation to a sort of war,” Rafel said with regards to the choice of name.
“It’s powerful and what is happening right now in the world is powerful, it suits it quite nicely. It also brings a feeling of solidarity and social awareness of the situation.”
“We plan on rebranding the logo to have a more happy and good feel, we want our food to give warmth and energy. We want the face of our charity to do the same.”
Like its wartime counterpart, Victory Kitchen was set up to cater to people during a time of crisis but Rafel has intentions to expand the project further and continue his philanthropic activism into a post-pandemic world.
“Our next step is to have a long term and sustainable plan in place for these families over the coming years. The impact on the coronavirus has not yet sunk yet properly and the worst time is still ahead of us.”
“We’ve teamed up with a local marketing company and are building a website with a frontend that explains everything we do and a backend system that social workers can access if they have a family in need. Restaurants will also be able to contribute too.”
Victory Kitchen is the work of a community eager to help those in need. Its operations wouldn’t be possible without the help of eCabs who are responsible for delivering each and every one of the 600 meals.
“They’ve made the kitchen possible,” Rafel remarked.
When the going gets tough, the tough step up to the plate and Victory Kitchen is just one example of several initiatives that are doing their part to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic in Malta.