Hot food is no longer a worry for COVID-affected families

Volunteers distributing food among the needy at Centenary Wesley Church in Hyderabad Wednesday.

Volunteers distributing food among the needy at Centenary Wesley Church in Hyderabad Wednesday.

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Hyderabad accelerate to a new high, food is no longer one of the worries for patients and their relatives. Instead of a frantic struggle to get hot food during the first wave and second wave, care-givers have more resources to meet their needs. Besides the normally functioning food delivery apps, a clutch of quick delivery services, and Annapurna canteens are filling in the gap in food supply. Even the need for home-cooked food is being met by Good Samaritans.

“We supplied 35,000 food packets during the second wave. We are just carrying on the work with our trusted friends and volunteers,” says V. Bhargav who has set up a network of food distribution in the western part of Hyderabad with his home kitchen in Bachupally area. He has hired a two-bedroom house near his apartment to use the kitchen facility to cook and serve food. Once the food is readied, volunteers take over and deliver it across a small area.

It was word-of-mouth publicity that did the trick. “Just WhatsApp us your home location and COVID report (8886686000) and we will cook delicious home meals and bring it to your home. We don’t take any money,” was the message put out by Bhargav. It is his wife Umamaheswari who runs the kitchen to feed 150 people while the demand is double that. “We want to scale up to supply of food in Miyapur and Gachibowli as many techies are positive. We prioritise senior citizens and bachelors,” says Bhargav.

Another NGO has been laid low by the aggressive spread of the virus. “We have 22 volunteers and were planning to start cooked food distribution to COVID-19 affected families. But some of our volunteers have tested positive and we might start the service by January 25,” said Vivek who did extensive food distribution during the second wave of the pandemic. But these efforts are dwarfed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation’s effort.

“The number of people having food here has remained constant. The demand has not increased. During the first lockdown we served dinner also but now there is no demand,” said an official at an Annapurna canteen where citizens can have hot rice, dal and sabzi for ₹5 at 11 a.m. The number of outlets has remained constant at 130 while approximately 27,000 people are availing the facility daily, according to officials.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 9:46:54 am |