Chennai

Volunteers resume free food supply for COVID-19 patients

Lending a helping hand:  To ensure health diet for patients, many volunteers cook food and supply them free of cost.

Lending a helping hand: To ensure health diet for patients, many volunteers cook food and supply them free of cost.

Neeta Jessani, 21, an interior designer, and her mother Poonam Jessani sent out hundreds of fresh home cooked meals for free for COVID-19 patients last year. Now, with sharp spike in cases in the city, they are flooded with calls again which has prompted her to resume her service.

“We didn’t realise several people were affected till we began to get numerous calls every day. We provide breakfast and lunch with varieties like idli, pongal, upma, paratha, dal, subzi, bisibelebath and pulao . We are cooking for ourselves anyway, so why not do it for another few families? At present, we are take up to 10 persons per meal. If there is a kid in the list, we drop in a chocolate as well to cheer him or her up. While the food is free, those ordering from us will have to take responsibility for delivery,” she says.

Like Ms. Jessani, quite a few in the city have resumed sending home-made meals for free for COVID-19 patients. These volunteers ensure the patients get fresh nutritious home-cooked meals that is low on oil, spices and salt.

Latha Dubay, a working professional is up and about early to ensure lunch and dinner she sends for the elderly are ready on time. “Last year, we, a bunch of volunteers, did it on a large scale and sent hundreds of meals. Now, the calls are much fewer and hence we do it individually. For now, I cook for 3-4 families and deliver it at the residence. This is for people who are elderly, who have a tough time managing themselves after contracting COVID-19,” she says.

Jai Adithiyan Pugazhendhi, 22, manages to serve the homeless and those down with COVID-19 by raising funds through his friends. “We provide simple food like idli, dosa, idiyappam, chapathi and meals to deliver it to areas like Red Hills, Kolathur, Retteri, Vinayakapuram, Perambur, Purasawalkam, Washermenpet, Saidapet, Sithalpakkam and Medavakkam. Some of them pay, but we don’t ask or charge,” he adds.

A bunch of volunteers have now compiled a food directory https://www.foodhelpchennai.in which has information about where people can find home cooked food in the city.

Shyam Sundar, one of the members, says, “The directory will show in which areas which cloud kitchen, home kitchen or caterers are available for service, their contact number, delivery options and on how many days they serve. Since many are in home isolation and weak, they may not be able to cook and we wanted to put together options to help them choose what they like.”


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Printable version | May 24, 2022 1:39:37 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/many-warriors-back-in-action-provide-free-home-made-meals-for-covid-19-patients/article38282934.ece