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Pawon'e Arek-Arek collective frees people from fear of hunger

Reno Surya

The Jakarta Post

Surabaya  /  Tue, February 16, 2021  /  02:42 pm
Pawon'e Arek-Arek collective frees people from fear of hunger

Volunteers of Pawon'e Arek-Arek pose for a photograph while shopping for groceries at a market in Surabaya, East Java. The food charity is an independent, self-funded collective that distributes food each week to people in need. (Courtesy of Ivan Darski/Ivan Darski)

The setting sun accompanied Yoyo, Rempel, Ryan and fellow volunteers to a market in the East Java capital, while the incoming dark clouds that seemed to hover overhead prompted them to hurry. Clutching sheets of brown recycled paper, they were ready to hunt for their groceries, scattering in all directions on arriving at the market. Less than an hour later, they regrouped, holding big bags filled with a variety of foodstuffs, from vegetables to fresh chicken and to spices that were ready to be chopped and fried into snacks. Yoyo, Rempel and Ryan, all in their early 30s, are cofounders of a food charity called Pawon'e Arek-Arek, meaning “kitchen guys”. They dislike the term "founders" and prefer “volunteers" instead. "No gods, no masters," they say, all asking not to use their full names. The charity distributes free food weekly to peop...