“It’s good and it makes us eat vegetables,” Samuel half-jokes, plunging his fork into his plate filled with eggplant and zucchini. This Sunday noon, on the banks of the Canal du Midi, Kamel cooks on his plancha enough to restore a small group of people, some living in the street. He arrived a little earlier on the handlebars of his two-wheeler, towing his stainless steel trailer that he transforms in a few moments into a mobile cooking plate.
This bicycle truck is not the latest creation of a sandwich seller, but the means that this Toulousain found to meet the homeless and offer them a friendly moment around a meal cooked on site, in the middle of exchanges on their lives, their desires.
Regularly since September, he has been roaming the streets of the Pink City and settling where there are homeless people. “I signed up to deliver meals to people who signed up on the street. Then I said to myself that we had to find a way to go everywhere, where the marauding trucks could not go. With the plancha, you can go under bridges, bring it into a courtyard, ”explains the man who works in design on a daily basis.
An association to emulate
In order for his idea to take shape, he created the association the “Plancha social club”, and designed a trailer that can be mounted on any bike. “The idea is to be able to make it available to all those who would like to take over”, specifies Kamel, who today finances this project thanks to donations from individuals and from his own funds. “It is not the price that it costs … I use my network, I will collect products from supermarkets or greengrocers instead of throwing them away”, underlines this volunteer who hopes to be emulated, by inspiring the manufacturing other mobile planchas, but also working with other associations.
Sylvain, Franck and Samuel, present that day on the banks, find “the idea nice”. It changes them from classic distributions or their food cooked in a tin can, an essential item when you spend time in the street. They live in a neighboring accommodation center, but they spend part of their day outside. Between two cherry tomatoes swallowed as an aperitif, they talk about their daily lives, the difficulty of finding themselves homeless, their future if they manage to get off the street.
“There is no judgment. We live a moment of sharing, as between friends around a plancha. If they have any needs, I echo them on the association’s Facebook page. Some are not unsociable, the last time I met a man who had temporary assignments but no housing. By posting an ad, it can help, because we know that it often works through the network “, continues the” Plancha social club “which does not seek glory but just the meeting and the little extra that can bring a little comfort in the grayness. When the association is more structured, he hopes to hire a person in insertion to replace the hob and see mobile planschas flourish everywhere, not to share with pleasure the manufacturing secrets.