BENGALURU: As people across walks of life are pitching in to contain the spread of coronavirus, many restaurants, voluntary organisations, and even schools are providing free food packets to people in need. Chinese food restaurant, Beijing Bites, for instance, has been providing around 1,000 packets of food every day. “When the ‘janata curfew’ was observed on March 22, it was reported that many people, especially daily wage workers, had nowhere to go. So the next day, we started giving food boxes to people,” restaurant director Mohammed Ibrahim Akram says.
While many people collect the food directly from its Richmond Road branch, there are volunteers who collect the packs and distribute them to people in slums, hospitals, old age homes, etc. Similarly, Taj Hotel in Frazer Town and Shivajinagar, has also been providing around 4,000 packets of food every day to the needy. “Homeless people are the most affected in this pandemic because everything is shut,” says manager Mushtaq Sha. Desi Masala at Banaswadi has also been distributing 5,000 packets daily. “We are getting a lot of requests from volunteers in many areas, BBMP staffers, hospitals and police stations,” says Sachin Jain, the director of the restaurant.
Besides restaurants, educational institutions like Greenwood High International School have also come forward to contribute to the cause. The school is preparing food for 300 underprivileged families every day and distributing it in and around Sarjapur, with permission from the police. “Only through active collaboration between all the members of the society, will we be able to overcome the impact of this pandemic,” says Niru Agarwal, trustee of Greenwood High.
All the organisations point out that they are taking adequate precautionary measures. “We have made a strict rule for everyone to use a hand sanitiser which is provided at the entrance, and they also have to wear a mask. We are also ensuring that people stand 3-4 feet apart in a queue,” says Dinesh Nanjegowda, managing director of Palate, a restaurant in Nagarbhavi.
Since volunteering can be a challenging task in the current situations, Foodcrate Brands has tied up with the police and some NGOs to distribute cooked food and groceries to 2,500 people every day across Bengaluru. “We also don’t have enough volunteers. Hopefully, we will get more people to help us in the coming days,” says Asad Ali, 25, CEO of the company, which has also tied up with Bisleri to provide clean drinking water to people.