Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday launched Hunger-free City, a project aimed at providing free lunch to patients in the Government Medical College Hospital and SAT Hospital here.

Food will be provided to around 2,500 patients in the first phase. The Social Welfare Department and the Kerala Social Security Mission (KSSM) will collaborate with the Jail Department for the project, a government release said.

Mr. Chandy said in his address that vegetables cultivated on jail premises would be used to prepare the lunch.

In his address, Minister for Social Welfare M.K. Muneer said the KSSM would provide Rs.20 a meal to the jail. The government would ensure that the food supplied was hygienic and of good quality. The scheme would be extended to other hospitals and would cover destitute people on the streets, he said.

Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said once the programme gained momentum, the food would be prepared near the Medical College.