Free food distributed to over 35 lakh poor during Covid second wave thanks to Bihar community kitchens

Express News Service
PATNA: The community kitchens, started by CM Nitish Kumar-led NDA government during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, have served free food to a record number of poor people in the state — this time both in urban and rural areas.

To review the arrangements, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also carried out virtual inspections across all community kitchens and first time took direct feedbacks from the beneficiaries.

“At present, 739 community kitchens are functioning across the state’s 534 blocks, wherein nutritious foods including milks to children and other immunity boosters edible items are being served free to the poor and local poor people and their children,” said additional chief secretary of health and state disaster management department Pratyay Amrit.

This is the first time that thousands of people, who tested positive for Covid-19, were also served food packets from nearby community kitchens if they were in home isolation.

Ram Kumar, a resident of Patna whose entire family was down with the virus, said “Had the Community Kitchen not been available, all my family members, even two minor children, would have died due to hunger.”

Pratyay Amrit said that more than 35.40 lakh poor people have been served free food in the state till June 1 and the services will continue till June 8.

In Bihar, the fourth round of Covid-19 lockdown is slated till June 8.

He said, “The community kitchens started by the government also served free food to attendants of all those Covid-19 patients, who were admitted at the Dedicated Covid Hospitals and the Covid Care Centres in addition to those who were helping people in home isolation”.

Many of the people, who availed the free food facility, said that the arrangements were fine with tables, chairs, milk, eggs, porridges and nutritious foods were served with pure drinking waters.

“We not only got food but also dignity. We are offered food on table and our children have been drinking milk for the last 20 days,” said Munna Das, a rickshaw puller.