Wedding food for socially displaced

“We did not re­al­ly want to make it a pub­lic event that we did for likes or what­ev­er the case may be. We did it from the bot­tom of our hearts be­cause it is some­thing we do on a reg­u­lar ba­sis,” said Crys­tal Pal­too.

This is not a sto­ry that Pal­too and her new hus­band Michael Chong-Ki­aw want­ed to tell, but it is a sto­ry that has tak­en on a life of its own.

Just af­ter mid­night on Sun­day, pho­tographs of Pal­too, still in her wed­ding dress, and Chong-Ki­aw, with his shirt sleeves rolled up, were post­ed on Face­book show­ing the new­ly-wed cou­ple feed­ing the so­cial­ly dis­placed with food from their wed­ding.

Those pho­tographs have since gone vi­ral on so­cial me­dia.

The cou­ple has been part of the Love All Serve All group for the past two years. The group post­ed the pho­tographs on its Face­book page.

With­in 24 hours the post re­ceived over 4,000 re­ac­tions. On­ly their first names were list­ed.

The T&T Guardian reached out to the cou­ple to tell their sto­ry.

They even­tu­al­ly agreed.

Pal­too and Chong-Ki­aw, both aged 27, have been to­geth­er for 12 years.

They de­cid­ed to get mar­ried on June 1.

The wed­ding re­cep­tion was held at Pas­sage To Asia in Ch­agua­nas.

Be­ing part of its Cen­tral Kitchen, Love All Serve All said in the ini­tial plan­ning stages of the wed­ding the cou­ple want­ed to in­clude the dis­tri­b­u­tion of meals to the Hun­gry on the Streets, but things did not work out.

How­ev­er, when the wed­ding re­cep­tion end­ed on Sat­ur­day night the cou­ple re­alised they still had ex­tra food avail­able.

“We had ex­tra food at our wed­ding and we at­tempt­ed to give it to our guests but be­cause it was a small in­ti­mate wed­ding there was not a lot of peo­ple that want­ed to take the ex­cess so we said we would go and share it out,” Pal­too said.

So the cou­ple went on the reg­u­lar route they take on the Ch­agua­nas Main Road to dis­trib­ute the food to the so­cial­ly dis­placed.

The so­cial­ly dis­placed recog­nised Pal­too and Chong-Ki­aw and con­grat­u­lat­ed them on their wed­ding.

“God’s will is more im­por­tant than ours and we re­al­ly want­ed to share our hap­pi­ness,” Pal­too said.

And so the cou­ple left the re­cep­tion and took to the streets still dressed for their wed­ding.

“We just hope to make a dif­fer­ence in what­ev­er small way we can. And we en­cour­age every­one to do what­ev­er they can al­so,” Pal­too said.

In May 2018, tele­vi­sion host Mar­sha Ri­ley got mar­ried in Wood­ford Square, Port-of-Spain and al­so fed the so­cial­ly dis­placed.

Any­one will­ing to join the Love All Serve All group can con­tact Sr­ishti Ram­dass at 321-5474.

Reporter: Joel Julien