We all deserve the right to cook for ourselves and our families. 

In the Direct Provision system, 4,300 people seeking asylum in Ireland are denied the right to work and the right to cook. Adults in Direct Provision are given an allowance of just €19.10 per week and €15.60 per week per child. This cruel and unnecessary system needs to end, but in the meantime, Our Table is advocating for the rights of people in Direct Provision to cook for themselves and their families. 

People in Direct Provision have no choice but to eat food prepared at set times on an industrial scale by companies profiting from the system. Banned from cooking in their rooms, some people secretly cook in toilets just to prepare something they want to eat. People living in Direct Provision report being hungry at night or being presented with low quality or culturally inappropriate food. 

Mothers and fathers pass down skills, traditions, tastes and family recipes to their children through cooking. It’s how families bond and gather. But hundreds of children born into the Direct Provision system have never tasted a meal cooked by their parents. 

We all deserve a seat at our own table.