CHENNAI: Serving up pongal, rava upma and 10 other dishes at a rapid pace, the Chennai Corporation’s common kitchens across 15 zones have kept urban poor from going hungry during the non-stop rains.
While Amma Canteens served free food to affected people during natural disasters in the previous AIADMK government, these kitchens have taken up the role now, serving rain-affected residents food round-the-clock.
According to data shared by the civic body, up to 10 lakh food parcels of various dishes were served by the 15 kitchens over the last three days. “We primarily distribute food to rescue shelters and night shelters. From Kodambakkam kitchen at Ambedkar College Road, about 12,000 people benefitted in the three days,” said an official from Revenue department, which runs the kitchen along with the corporation.
TNIE spoke to workers, who said they wake up as early as 3 am to cook. “By 6 am, the breakfast is ready. After that, it is tasted by health inspectors. Only after that we distribute it,” said a cook. These kitchens are constantly monitored by DMK MLAs, ministers and IAS officials. Recently, during a surprise visit, Chief Minister MK Stalin inspected these kitchens to taste the food.
Officials said the canteens will be offering free food until the rains are over. “Most people who avail the service are from slum board tenements, fishermen colonies and the homeless.” The CM had also recently announced that Amma Canteens too will be serving free food till the rains are over.
12K people benefitted in the past three days of the food served from the Kodambakkam common kitchen