These cooks serve wholesome meals to these in want


“Some people shared my post on social media and we received more orders. We serve almost 60 meals a day for lunch and dinner. On very rare occasions, some may ask for breakfast. I get orders mostly from seniors whose kids are out of town and from families who are quarantined at home and cannot cook. I usually ship everything I cook at home – for lunch it is mostly South Indian dishes that include a kuzhambu, rasam, a vegetable or two, and for dinner I have delivered dosa, rotis and khichdi. The idea is to send home cooking, ”says Harshni.

When the COVID-19 broke out last year, entrepreneur Deepthi Tanikella and her family cooked meals and distributed them to those in need on the street. “It is important to give something back to society. If you are privileged and know how to cook, then without hesitation you can join the army of chefs who have joined the cause. I have been delivering home cooked food for the past few days and my policy is not to refuse a request. I usually send lunch out at 12.30pm, but yesterday a lady called me at 12.45pm asking for food. But I managed to send her food. My family has been very supportive and encouraging – my mother and mother-in-law cook with me too, ”says Deepthi.

When the food is delivered to a COVID-19 patient’s home, she notifies the delivery driver because they don’t know who they are delivering to. “So when I tell them it’s a COVID-19 patient’s home, the maternity supervisor can maintain social distance and make sure there is no interaction. I ship everything I do at home, but sometimes I get special requests from people. Once the daughter of an elderly couple whom I was sending food to turned to me and said that her doctor had specifically asked her parents to eat lots of vegetables, cottage cheese, garlic, broccoli, and mushrooms. I bought all of these vegetables and started sending lettuce along with meals. Some people send me their medical reports, but I tell them I am not a nutritionist and offer to prepare healthy meals for them. ” She smiles.

When asked if she’s had any challenges so far, Deepthi says, “I can’t call it a challenge, but sometimes some people assume we’re running a huge food catering company and ask how and what kind of food we prepare parts of the menu. In such cases, I make them understand the service we offer, ”she adds.

Poongodi A is another home cook from Chennai who sends groceries to those in need. Her daughter Priya Alagarraj, who works as a consultant, coordinates the service. “We take orders for lunch and dinner every day. My mother prepares particularly nutritious meals for quarantine at home. We also accept donations – if someone is willing to donate, they can send the money and we will forward it to several covid charities in the country. The reactions from the people were overwhelming. My family was also very supportive of this. We hope to prepare and share more meals in the coming days, ”says Priya.

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