Chicken Operation: Contributing to a good cause

28 May, 2021
  • 5 min read
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"Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are exciting initiatives out there that inspire us to grow and stay motivated.”

Imén is a fourth-year student at Hotelschool The Hague. After finishing her Managing an Outlet (MO) course last year in the kitchen of Le Début, she wanted to contribute to a good cause and support the ones in need. She shared with us her story on how together with a group of people, they managed to distribute 1,860 kg of chicken among homeless people and organisations in Amsterdam.

Read her story below:

Last year, I did my MO course in the kitchen of Le Début and I met my colleague Diane. When the course was over, we decided to put together our tips from the past six months in order to contribute to a good cause.

While researching, I immediately realised how many people are in need in the city of Amsterdam. We came across “Koken in een andere keuken” (Cooking in another kitchen”, an initiative led by Henny Heijmans. The idea behind the project is cooking for 50 homeless people, or “visitors” as they preferred to call them. It seemed a great way to give back to the community with immediate results. I contacted Henny, and together with De Japanner (the restaurant where I am the cook)), we started cooking for this project every week.

One day, Henny called me and said “We have 620 kg of chicken, what can we do with it?”. This quantity came from an agro-industrial company that could not get rid of the frozen chicken pieces during the pandemic, but at the same time, they did not want to just throw them away. After some phone calls with Henny and my manager, we decided to cook meals and distribute them to social causes in Amsterdam. “Shall we include other ingredients in order to provide a complete meal?”, I thought. Via an HTH project, I got in touch with a farmer (through an organisation that connects young farmers to young people from the city and spreads awareness about farming) and he was willing to donate 800 kg of potatoes for our project.

 D-day. The chicken's arrival day. We were expecting 620 kg but we got 1,860 kg. Within 2 hours, all this quantity was distributed to great social causes in Amsterdam. The bulk went to an organisation called StreetSmart, which knows where to find all the individuals and organisations in need. We covered every side of Amsterdam giving out all the prepared meals (chicken with potatoes).

My take-aways from this experience: 

  • Working together towards a common goal is the key!
  • There are so many great organisations out there with great people spending their time contributing to society.
  • If you want something, make it happen!
  • Whether it is work or charity, you can always find ways to give back to people in need. This will offer you inspiration and motivation to keep going in life.

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, Hotelschool The Hague has become an international hospitality business school specialised in hospitality management, offering a 4-year Bachelor in Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13-month MBA in Hospitality Management is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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