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COVID-19: Kerala starts delivering free food at doorsteps by setting up community kitchens

Food would be given free of cost to the financially weak persons being identified by the local bodies
Last Updated 27 March 2020, 18:45 IST
Workers prepare packaged food to be distributed among the poor, during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Ernakulam Karayogam in Kochi. (PTI Photo)
Workers prepare packaged food to be distributed among the poor, during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Ernakulam Karayogam in Kochi. (PTI Photo)
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Volunteers pack food packets to distribute at government hospitals and among poor people, during the complete lockdown across the country to contain to contain the coronavirus spread, at Ernakulam Karayogam in Kochi. (PTI Photo)
Volunteers pack food packets to distribute at government hospitals and among poor people, during the complete lockdown across the country to contain to contain the coronavirus spread, at Ernakulam Karayogam in Kochi. (PTI Photo)

After delivering essential commodities at doorsteps to those in isolation due to COVID-19 alerts, Kerala government has started delivering cooked foods to the needy even at their doorsteps free of cost by setting up community kitchens at all the 941 panchayats in the state in view of the lockdown.

Within a day after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the scheme on Wednesday, 43 community kitchens were set up on Thursday and 2,215 persons were provided meals, of which 1,639 were given free of cost. By Friday, 528 more kitchens started functioning in the state and the remaining would be set up in a day or two, said government sources.

Kerala government initiated setting up of the community kitchens after it came across reports on scores of people of week sections, especially the homeless, struggling for food following the lockdown.

Food would be given free of cost to the financially weak persons being identified by the local bodies, the public can get vegetarian meals for Rs 20. Volunteers would deliver food at doorsteps at a service charge of Rs 5 per meal.

The Kudumashree poverty eradication mission of the state is entrusted with setting up of the community kitchens and many hotels and catering service workers have come up voluntarily offering manpower and cooking utensils. Some hotels have also offered to give their kitchen for setting up the community kitchens, said Kudumbasree executive director S Harikishore.

Whatsapp or SMS platforms are being created at each panchayat for placing orders for meals. The panchayats were allowed to procure materials locally and also to raise funds through donations or sponsorships. There would be at least one community kitchen in each panchayat preparing food for up to 500 persons. In the initial days, only lunch could be distributed through the community kitchens and in due course provision for breakfast and dinner would be made, said Kudumbasree sources.

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(Published 27 March 2020, 18:45 IST)

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