Hunger free Kozhikode. Food with dignity.
This is the second time we’ve heard of something inspirational happening in Kerala to help the less fortunate and the needy. First, it was a restaurant in Kochi setting up a fridge outside the restaurant to give the hungry a chance to eat fresh food. Now the District Collector of Kozhikode has created Operation Sulaimani to ensure that the hungry are fed at all times.
Launched in 2015 by Prashant Nair, Kozhikode’s District Collector, this project has aimed to bring the community together for one purpose – feed the less fortunate and not let them go hungry The Collector’s office has tied up with the Kerala State Hotel and Restaurants Association to bring in 125 restaurants in the city to be a part of this initiative.
The Operation Sulaimani team has placed boxes all over the city, where people can leave anonymous donations. This money is then used to reimburse the meal coupons that are collected at restaurants. None of this money is used to meet administrative costs, every rupee goes into feeding the needy.
Back in April 2015, Operation Sulaimani made the free meal coupons available at the Collectorate, Village and Taluk offices and also distributed with the newspapers to give everyone a chance to get their hands on these coupons. These coupons can then be used in any of the restaurants part of the project for a full meal. It’s not a soup kitchen format, it’s just a collaboration between the restaurants in the city and Operation Sulaimani to make sure that every hungry person in Kozhikode is fed.
As the District Collector himself said, “There is no food wastage nor do we have to worry about the safety of the food. If we had chosen to build a large kitchen to supply free food, we would have all these problems. But we just decided to use the existing system and make the best use of it.”
Small steps is all it takes to properly make a change and restaurant owners and managers in Kozhikode feel lucky and blessed to be able to help people in their city.