Victory Kitchen founders Rafel Sammut and Andrew Arrigo will be holding their annual charity swim this weekend, this time swimming for 24-hours in a bid to raise funds for their meal-based charity. 

In an initiative that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, while restaurants were shuttered, a group of chefs committed to feeding families in need every day. The duo has held a charity swim every year io raise funds.

This year, between May 7 and 8, Sammut and Arrigo will be swimming around the Neptunes pool in Balluta for 24 hours, with each of them swimming for at least 12 hours each. 

Last year the pair swam around Gozo in 14 hours, covering a distance of some 40 kilometres, while in 2020 they swam from Ċirkewwa to Dingli Cliffs.

To date, Victory Kitchen has served 145,385 meals to 26,499, managing to increase its output to 1,350 meals served directly to families in need as well as some 500 meals a week that are distributed through NGOs. 

This year, the group said, the goal is to raise the output up to 2,300 meals per week as well as expand its facilities in Marsa, purchase a refrigerated van and look to expand the program to provide meals to refugees on the Ukrainian border. 

While Sammut and Arrigo plan to swim at least 35 kilometres each, they will also be setting up a live distance tracker that will increase their distance based on donation pledges from the business community, with their distance increasing based on the amount collected. 

“Rafel and Andrew have committed that they will swim 12 hours each to cover the 24 hours but they are willing to attempt to take their swim further on if companies commit to pledge amounts. While confident that they will reach the 12-hour mark, anything over 12 hours will be a massive challenge physically and mentally but they are willing to give it a try if this means managing to increase the level of financial support it brings,” they said in a statement. 

“Rafel and I set up Victory Kitchen at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to feed all those in need as a result of the effects of the pandemic. Our charity has moved beyond just supporting people affected by the pandemic but with social workers, parishes and NGOs we expanded our original motto of ‘defeating hunger’ to include our battle cry that ‘no one should go to bed hungry,” Arrigo said. 

Additionally, a minimum of 25 per cent of the money collected will be used to support Len and Jacob, seven-year-old twins who have Infantile Refsum Disease. The illness is an incredibly rare degenerative disease that causes movement disorder, learning difficulties and dysphasia, threatening the boys’ mobility and speech, among other complications. 

The money collected will contribute to Len and Jacob receiving treatment specialised treatment overseas as well as their day-to-day needs. 

Victory Kitchen is accepting donations via bank transfer to APS IBAN: MT10APSB77013000000044687710017 or through Revolut or BOV Mobile on +356 9944 1950

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us