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The lockdown has resulted in several restaurants and F&B establishments downing shutters for customers. But that doesn’t mean their kitchens have gone silent. Here is a look at how some organisations and restaurants are feeding the hungry in Bengaluru, and how you can help.

Stories The Brew Chapter

restaurants helping the needy

Hearing how their employees’ families were struggling in their home towns for basic needs, the good folks at Stories The Brew Chapter began to help those in their vicinity. “We began distributing cooked meals daily and were able to manage 200 meals a day thanks to friends and family,” explains Nerall Bakhai, managing director, Stories. “We’re now able to help around 1,000 families a day in terms of cooked meals and also with grocery kits. We are also providing people with masks and creating awareness around COVID-19 and precautions to be taken.”

Currently covering Jayanagar, JP Nagar, Banashankari, and BTM Layout in Bengaluru, to expand their reach, Stories is encouraging people to provide the needy with cooked meals, grocery kits, basic health kits, and packaging material. They will organise pick up and distribution adhering to all necessary safety precautions.

For more information, click here, or reach out at +91 98847 47275

Green Theory

Green Theory
Image: Courtesy Green Theory Instagram

Green Theory cafe and bakehouse is another one of many restaurants feeding the hungry through founder-owner Bikash Parik’s interesting initiative. You can order a meal to be shared with someone in need and they will get it done for you. All you need to do is call up the restaurant, and tell them to add a meal. You will receive the link to an account and the amount needed to prepare and deliver the food. This is being done as part of The National Restaurant Association of India’s (NRAI) initiative that has collectively pledged 10 million meals across the country till the end of the lockdown.

More information here and here

THE Park Bangalore

The Park Bangalore

THE Park Bangalore has started Free Food Hour. Every day from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, around 70-100 daily wage workers, ambulance drivers, policemen, security officials, and healthcare officials are provided a food bag with water. “We also heard of and located a slum near Hebbal which is unable to source any rations. Our car, with food packets provides meals for around 150 families living there,” Ajit Singh Garcha, Area General Manager, THE Park Bangalore”. People, particularly senior citizens, living in a five km radius can also directly call the hotel for any emergencies or any pharmaceutical needs 24*7.

Reach out to them at +91 80 2559 4666

Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL)

BIAL

BIAL is working with other corporates located at the BLR Airport campus – HMS Host, Satis Dining, Taj Bangalore and TFS — in a joint initiative to provide meals each day to affected people with the support of the district administration around the airport. Approximately 3,500 daily meals (2,000 packages for lunch and 1,500 for dinner) are packed at the Airport campus and delivered to stranded migrant workers, daily wage earners, villagers, policemen, and those working in the unorganised sector across Chikkaballapura district.

“We have started Namma Chethana – in the spirit of reaching out to those in need at this hour,” says Hari Marar, MD & CEO, BIAL. In addition to meals, groceries, too, will be provided that can be used to cook an additional 3,500 meals, effectively catering to approximately 7,000 people each day,” Marar adds.

Brik Oven

BrikOven

Among restaurants feeding the hungry is Brik Oven. “We started with distributing close to 120 sandwiches to people on the streets, and scaled up to 500 sandwiches the next day,” Anirudh Nopany, Director, Brik Oven Pvt Ltd explains. While distributing, the team found that there were several people who had escaped the purview of NGOs. “This was the moment we decided to convert to providing rice meals. It wasn’t something that our kitchens were equipped for but, the team put in their efforts to make enough for 500 people on a daily basis.”

The pizzeria has identified a number of construction sites and regularly provide meals to them, along with a community of 150 people in Koramangala. They have a few farmers who are providing them with vegetables on a daily basis to help production. The team aren’t accepting any monetary donations; what they are looking for are people, farmers, or shopkeepers who are willing to donate raw materials to help scale operations to reach a larger number of people.

Reach out here

Bengaluru Oota Company for #FeedMyBangalore

FeedMyBangalore is a startup founded by BigBasket promoter, K Ganesh; Venkat Narayana, CEO, Prestige group; and Juggy Marwaha of JLL. Tying up with them is Bengaluru Oota Company’s Divya Prabhakar, and B2B food technology company Hungerbox, which has cloud kitchens across major metros in the country. At the time of writing this piece, FeedMyBangalore had distributed 24,000 meals cooked meals in the city and 3 lakh meals across the country. “The aim was 3 lakh meals with the funding we had. But we have chapters in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Noida, and now Chennai, and so we have crossed this figure. We do one meal service per day for those identified for this and will continue to provide food for the lockdown period,” explains Prabhakar.

To donate to #FeedMyBangalore, click here

Olive Group for YouthFeedIndia

YouthForIndia

YouthFeedIndia in collaboration with Safa Society initiated by Shaaz Mehmood, Partner, Olive Group (Hyderabad), Tanya Mallavarapu Reddy (Chennai) and Deepti Kat (Bangalore) has been working nonstop to create dry provision packs and distribute them to daily wage workers. Each pack feeds a family of five for a week. At the time of writing this, 18,000 packets had been distributed around India, helping 90,000 people. This initiative is across Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, and parts of North Karnataka, as well as has chapters in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurgaon. “All supplies have been bought from small local stores to infuse money into the local economy. The Olive Group has been promoting it across their networks as an initiative to support. The target is 100,000 packets by the end of April,” explains Shaaz.

Donate here

The Oberoi Bengaluru

The Oberoi Bengaluru

The Oberoi Bengaluru has been supplying daily meals to St. Philomena’s Hospital in the city. The hotel provides 75 meal boxes for each meal period, packed lunch and dinner boxes are supplied to the hospital every day. Each box contains rice, lentils and a vegetable preparation. It is a collective effort right from vendors, to local police for passes, to the F&B team of the hotel to the security supervisor of the hotel accompanying each vehicle that goes for the meal delivery. “This initiative remains driven by the organization. This is a small gesture of goodwill to make the team at St. Philomena’s feel supported and valued,” says Visheshwar Raj Singh, Vice President and General Manager, The Oberoi, Bengaluru.

Atria Foundation’s Serve Bengaluru

Atria Foundation restaurants feeding hungry

Apart from restaurants feeding the hungry is Atria Foundation’s Serve Bengaluru program is in partnership with Atria Education, Atria Hospitality, ACT Fibernet and Atria Power. They are preparing and serving over 1.50 lakh meals a day in about 100 different locations in Bengaluru. “Working out of 12 kitchens, the distribution is done by partners on ground, adhering to all social distancing norms. Over 350 Atria group employees are volunteers, along with other NGOs and government organisations. Each meal consists of basic nourishment of carbs, protein and fibre and is usually a meal like Pongal, Upma, Sambhar rice and the like,” explains Kaushik Raju, director, Atria Groups.

People looking to contribute, can reach out on atriafoundation@gmail.com

MISU

MISU, the pan-Asian restaurant in Bengaluru, has a unique approach to making difference. Order a bottle of their signature chilli oil for Rs 350 and you can help feed one person cooked meals for a week. “I was not comfortable with asking people to donate as often people are unsure if their contributions are utilised correctly. So we linked this to a signature product. That way people can enjoy the chilli oil in the comfort of their home since they can’t physically dine at MISU and at the same time they can feel good about having helped the cause,” says Amit Ahuja, Managing Director, AA Hospitality. The team is currently serving sandwiches or rice-based meals to migrant workers and daily wage workers in Marathahalli and Banaswadi.

More information here

All images: Courtesy brands

Ruth DSouza Prabhu

Ruth is an independent journalist based in Bangalore. Always in pursuit of the next story that interests her, loves her food and drink, bookworm and a sucker for sunsets and airplane journeys.