The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), besides taking care of the healthcare needs during this pandemic following the outbreak of coronavirus, is also distributing free food packets and grocery kits to the poor and needy people like daily wage labourers, house helps etc. who lost their livelihood due to lockdown.
Sangita Hasnale, the assistant chief food distribution officer of BMC told the Free Press Journal that so far Rs 76 crore has been spent on providing free food supply to the needy people. Till date 3.75 crore food packets have been distributed, while the daily count of food supply as of now is 1.25 lakh. While in the initial phase of lockdown about seven lakh food packets per day was distributed.
"In the initial days of lockdown the demand was huge. We had migrant labourers apart from poor people, homeless people, senior citizens who cannot cook food as maids were restricted entry in the housing societies. Therefore to cater the huge demand, over 1,100 staffers were involved. Now as most of the labourers have left the city, the demand too has declined, but we are still distributing the free food packets from wherever the corporators and ward officials present the demand. As the number of food packets in demand have reduced, currently only 300 employees are in the team," Hasnale said.
Interestingly, to cater the food demand the BMC's food supply team tied up with a few Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and out of 3.75 crore food packets distributed till date, about 10 to 15 lakh meals was made available from these NGOs. To ensure no one goes hungry the BMC has started 46 community kitchen to serve the free food to needy. While 120 air conditioned BEST buses roped in for logistics, stated Hasnale.