This is not the first time Kozhikode has stood together for the hungry and the poor. After ‘Operation Sulaimani’ that ensured free meals to the hungry through the restaurants in the city, Share Meal, a project of the District Jail, is making waves these days.
Share Meal was first introduced in Ernakulam District Jail, when K. Anil Kumar was the Superintendent. As he got transferred to Kozhikode, ‘Share meal’ followed him.
The project that was launched on October 23 has become a big hit in just one week and many organisations and individuals have already come forward offering bulk orders, said Jail Welfare Officer Rajesh Kumar T, who is monitoring the project.
The basic idea of the project is to offer a meal to a hungry person without the donor and the receiver knowing each other. Persons interested in sponsoring the meals shall purchase a coupon worth ₹25 from the ‘Food for Freedom’ counter outside the jail, opposite Comtrust Eye Hospital.
The coupon shall be stuck on the pin board outside the counter. Any hungry person can pick up a coupon and purchase a meal from the counter.
A meal packet usually consist of five chapathis and a veg/non-veg curry.
“Most people purchase single coupons, though there are people who purchase coupons in bulk too. We sold coupons worth ₹25,000 on the inaugural day,” Mr. Rajesh Kumar said.
When the coupons accumulate, the jail authorities take the food to some worthy institution such as orphanages, old-age homes or hospitals. The food supplied in the counter is not the same food made for inmates in the jail. It is prepared separately for sale.
More products on sale
Meanwhile, the old counter that sold jail-made chapathis has been modified as the ‘Food for Freedom’ counter that sells products of the inmates. Besides food items such as chapathi and curries, the counter is a selling point for the cement flower pots, paper carry bags, phenol, detergent powder and car wash made by the inmates.