By Jel Santos
After preparing at least 200 meals every day since the start of the community quarantine, over 20,000 food packs have been distributed by good samaritans to street dwellers, frontliners, and fire victims in Metro Manila.
Through the help of the non-government organization (NGO) of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago, a group of Indian businessmen handed out food packs all over the metropolis.
The Malasakit Movement, according to Pialago, was approached by Indian business partners Vijay Gurung, Jitesh Kagrani, Nitesh Aswani, and Surat Rana so that they could join with the movement by providing meals.
“They partnered with us because they want to give back to the community during these very trying times. They took the initiative to give food packs because they own a restaurant in Makati," she said.
Gurung, the owner of the Royal Indian Curry House in Makati, said he and his business partners really want to give back to the community so they made a commitment of donating at least 200 food packs every day since the beginning of the quarantine.
“With the help of the Malasakit Movement, we distribute food packs to street dwellers and frontliners in Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Pasay, and other parts of Metro Manila. This is only our little way to help the community during this COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“We give food at hospitals, and at checkpoints as well. We want to show our frontliners that we are very grateful for their sacrifices to fight COVID-19,” the restaurant owner added.
The food packs they distribute are usually Filipino meals, and sometimes Indian foods since their restaurant is an Indian restaurant, he said.
“We often hand out Filipino foods like Adobo, and it is being prepared by our Indian chef. Sometimes, we distribute Indian dish paired with rice,” Gurung said.
Just few days ago, the NGO handed out over 1,000 food packs to fire victims who lost their houses in Barangay Addition Hills, Mandaluyong.
Pialago said they will soon hand out food packs and hygiene kits to stranded overseas stranded Filipino workers (OFWs) at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
“Mr. Gurung said they will be giving stranded OFWs food packs and hygiene kits at Villamor. So, in the coming days, the Malasakit Movement will distribute meals there for our stranded kababayans,” the MMDA spokesperson said.
The hygiene kits contain tissues, wet wipes, toothbrushes, toothpastes, shampoos, lotions, alcohols, and napkins, she added.