For someone like us, an urban high school senior or a college student, the lockdown seemed like a dream come true. No classes, no tests, no work. We could sit at home the whole day and do whatever we wanted, binge-watching Netflix to our heart’s content. But as horror stories of millions of people going hungry and homeless all over the country, and in our city, Chennai itself, started to permeate our little bubble, we knew that we had to do something to help… That’s when we were introduced to Feed my Chennai (FMC), an amazing initiative that we now spend our time volunteering for.
FMC is the brainchild of several highly-motivated Chennai entrepreneurs, who saw the dire situation the people of the city were in, and decided to do something about it. It is a network of service organisations and individuals that aims to combat the devastation caused by COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown, by ensuring that no one in Chennai goes hungry in these uncertain times. The fact that there is so much energy in this organisation is what drew us to it in the first place – as young people, we feel at home here. Our goal is to ensure that everyone is not only fed, but also content and satisfied. That’s why we’re using kitchens that used to cater to weddings and corporate events, to manufacture low-cost, but tasty food, that provides every person with a well-rounded diet containing 1900-2000 calories per day.
These meals are then distributed across 15 zones in Chennai to those most in need, such as migrant labourers and temporary workers, people who have lost their source of income and cannot afford to even feed themselves, much less their families.
So far FMC has served more than 200,000 meals in the past two weeks since its inception, providing nearly 30,000 meals every day. However, now that the government has extended the lockdown till May 3rd, they now face the economic challenge of feeding thousands of people for an extended time. It has raised 1 crore ($131,150) so far, but with operating costs of 9 lakh ($12,000) per day, we need a lot more to ensure that it is up and running for the month to come. More so, since FMC is continuously looking to expand and serve as many people as possible.
The work that FMC is doing is life-saving. Any donation to such a worthy cause, will have a direct, and even life-saving impact on thousands of people. The cost of providing a day’s food for one hungry person is only 40 cents.
Any amount that you feel appropriate will make a difference. As an illustration, $50 will fund 125 meals, $100 will fund 250 meals, and $500 will fund 2000 meals.
If you wish to make a donation, you can use this link:
You can donate directly using US/foreign credit cards. All donations will go directly to FMC.
As people who have been blessed to have a steady supply of not just essential goods, but comforts, it was our duty to give back to the society and city that has been our home for over 21 years. As a person who can afford to survive, our privilege becomes our responsibility – ours is to help those who cannot help themselves.
*Impact Guru has the requisite clearances under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010. All donations made are tax-deductible.
Samiha and Surabhi Gopal are siblings who live in Chennai, India. Samiha is a fourth year law student at NALSAR university and Surabhi would have finished her 12th grade final exams, (They have been postponed due to COVID-19), and will be entering college in Fall 2020.