Community kitchens in Udhampur prepare 7k food packets daily for stranded migrants

The initiative has been widely hailed by people and till date, more than one lakh meals have been provided to needy persons at their doorsteps, officials said. Representational image: iStock

Three community kitchens in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur town have been preparing and distributing over 7,000 food packets daily among migrant workers who are stranded at different locations owing to a countrywide lockdown.

“In these community kitchens, the meals are cooked, packed and distributed among the needy at different locations of the district. The initiative has been widely hailed by people and till date, more than one lakh meals have been provided to needy persons at their doorsteps,” a district officer said.

“Over 7,000 food packets are prepared and distributed among the needy in Udhampur town on a daily basis amid the lockdown imposed across the country to contain the spread of coronavirus,” he said. “The community kitchens have been set up at different locations to efficiently cater to the needy in the peripherals areas,” he said.

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“Initially, one community kitchen was set up by the district administration for feeding the stranded labourers and truck drivers. After observing the growing demand of food from different areas and getting requests from the poor, the district administration with the help of some volunteers later added two more community kitchens at different locations,” the officer added.

“Professional cooks prepare food in these community kitchens, volunteers pack and distribute the food packets among the needy at different locations. A distribution road map has been charted out, keeping in view all health advisories while cooking and distributing food,” he added.

For proper management of these community kitchens, DDC Udhampur Piyush Singla was appointed, GM DIC Suram Chand Sharma was appointed as Nodal Officer, assisted by Chief Horticulture Officer (CHO) Udhampur BV Gupta and three trainee officers Manik Singh Rathore, Ankush Tripathi and Sandeep Singh.

“A central stock store has been established under the supervision of the CHO at his office, from where raw material is provided to the three community kitchens,” the officer said. “Contact details of all the officers concerned and volunteers were widely circulated among the public,” he said. “People in need of food called on the phone numbers and got food packets delivered at their doorsteps,” he added.

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