The Ulysses Club Thailand, a riders club open to people aged 40 and above who pledge to dedicate themselves to the club’s four pillars: fun, camaraderie, riding and charity, began a programme to feed the neediest of the needy in Chiang Mai on April 19th, kicking off with donations from members and friends. Acknowledging the many food distribution points and charity cabinets across the city, the group’s intention was to seek out those most in need. Over the past six weeks, a few hot-spots of demand were found and focused on, mostly immigrant labourers and single mothers.
“Many of those we’re feeding have physical and mental impairments and it’s fair to say we’ve encountered some issues,” wrote The Bigfella, a member of the club on a post on rideasia.net, a motorcycle forum.
“We had a fight for food at one location, early in the programme, but our Thai participants became the focus of how we hand food out. They pointed out to the groups that we would not return if there was further trouble. Problem solved… and the troublemaker is now always last in line. It’s been gut-wrenching at times to run out of food – and mostly we’ve been able to deal with that by having stocks of noodles and tinned fish as backup.”
“Over the last week, we delivered 1,200 meals and during the programme to date, in the order of 5,000. All food preparation, cooking and distribution is being done with donated labour and materials. Costs for food, water and packaging are down to less than 23 baht per meal. Total. We’ve used a closed Thai kitchen on one occasion, which cost us considerably more, but staff burnout demanded a break for those doing up to 200 meals a day – every day. No-one involved in the programme is seeking anything other than to give a little back to those in need. We know there’s a lot more than the 180 – 200 we’re feeding who are in need. We’re in this for the long haul. It’s going to be needed for a long time.”