Monday, October 6, 2008

HAPPY MEAL INITIATIVE


As a kid I have never had to go hungry at home…because my parents ensured that we had three square meals everyday …Not every one is lucky like you and me…

This post is a bit different from the usual posts I have written in this blog…There are no recipe’s (which I fondly call as catastrophes) in this post.. ;-P

In the colorful and appetizing world of food blogs I have come across hundreds of dishes from across the world…I started following the blogs initially out of passion for trying something different from the usual fare and then I actually began to enjoy the cooking….

As we all know food taste’s the best when...

1) The food is served with love...It could be your life partner...your mom. or any favorite people in your life…
2) You are really hungry…and I mean dead hungry….

We all put lot of devotion to prepare food for the people who fall in the first category…We prepare the spice mix days in advance if you are planning a special dinner or if you are calling friends over home…and there is so much passion involved in creating that perfect carte for our loved ones…We do all this because we genuinely like the people for whom we are serving the food?

Though am hardly someone to be called a food blogger, I have seen so many online food festivals and other initiatives in the network of food blogs where recipes and little cooking tips are shared…There so much of knowledge which I get from reading these posts…and I see so much of effort being put to spread this…And I was wondering at the power vested in the deft hands of all food bloggers and the possibility to make a change…So this post is about making a little change for someone else..

Most of us haven’t had to experience that feeling in our lives…Most of us as adults could always afford to buy food whenever we needed…and splurge too…But unfortunately there are millions who cant….
I am requesting for a small help….Just take time out in a weekend…Instead of cooking for our friends or guests…Think about cooking for someone else if you are willing to..

Call up the nearest charity/ old-age home/ orphanage at your locality and request the caretaker if you could cook a dish for the lunch on a weekend …

A little note for folks who are currently abroad in the West…I know many of us put in our little share by donating money to such organizations…But this a request for a little more..
If you wonder, there are quite a lot of people in the west who cant afford a meal too…There are hundred’s of people in Europe/ US who survive on the food served at these charities…So the geographical location of where you are doesn’t matter because there are poor people in every nook and corner of this world.

How can I cook for so many people?
You don’t have to cook an elaborate meal for 100 people…Just a simple dish…or just cookies…or cakes…would do… It is actually very light on your pockets too but gives a satisfaction beyond that… You can buy 100 chicken legs for just 25$ …:-) I have seen a Korean Woman’s association out here doing that, ordinary housewives who cook and donate homemade food to charities …

Why the charity needs food…they already get it from somewhere?
Yes…they get food from mostly shops which donate the unsold stock of bread or veggies or poultry which are close to expiry date…or restaurant’s with surplus food which they are anyways planning to throw away at end of the day…I feel sad when I realize that we still don’t have the courtesy to give good stuff for people who cant afford it…So if you manage to make a little change in the daily palate of almost outdated bread, salads or sausages it will make a lot of change….taste wise and otherwise..


I don’t know what to promise you for doing this…Most of the charities can’t afford anything spectacular food wise...they usual survive on ready made food and quick fix meals...A tasty home made food from your wonder hands will go a lot to bring satisfaction to people who are used to this regular fare..

I can guarantee you 100% free happiness and broad smile on your face. If you still don’t believe it, check yourself in your mirror after doing it!!:-)

I would be glad if you let me know if you have done anything as part of this initiative. Please drop a comment telling:-

1) Where you are from
2) What did you serve and for how many people
3) To which organization did the food go

This is a little initiative where I will be very happy even if its just one person who has something to eat from your kitchen’s after reading this post…

Thank you..

20 comments:

silverine said...

The person in my house who does this is my mom. So I will answer the question on her behalf:

1) Where you are from - India/Kerala/Kottayam/Chy

2) What did you serve and for how many people- Last meal served was Vegetable biryani and Raita for some Saints feast. Every important occasion from birthdays, anniversaries, palli perunaals in hometown Changannassery, religious festivals etc is a occasion for sending meals.

3) To which organization did the food go - Orphanages

Heart warming and tear inducing post!

Ann said...

Haunting post.
I love to see the content faces as well.Have the habit of feeding.Last time for any orgn was at Cochin.But it was not home made.Wherever i love to make sure that i feed atleast one needy.Thats my policy.Even here
Such an attitude is where God is.Mathew,have peace.

di said...

Been following both your blogs since quiet some time now but always hesitated to comment. This one however is too good to let go without a word. As for your request-
1) From kollam, but now at Tvm.
2) Last meal served was the traditional Kerala Sadya, 8months back on my wedding day. We normally arrange treats during bdays, weddings or any other special occasions; a pratice I picked from my previous organization.
3) almost 99% of the time it goes to Balabhavan (Holy Trinity-tvm)

May be next time I'll try to cook something on my own rather than place a catering order.

mathew said...

@Anju
So glad to know the effort put by your mom...Give my high fives to aunty!!:-)

@Ann
Thank you..and so glad to know that there are people around here doing it..

@Di
Thanks for visiting this blog..and commenting esp such good news.

"May be next time I'll try to cook something on my own rather than place a catering order."

Yes that would really nice..:-)

Sridevi R said...

Noble thoughts. Seriously, never thought I can make a difference. When I see people with boards "I am hungry" I ask myself, Why can't they go and work? I got the answer resently...some people cannot. I was exposed to that reality very late I must agree.

The answers...
1. Coimbatore...mallu.
2. I am afraid...it was for family and friends.
3. Sorry. Doing voluntary work like teaching...does that count?

There is a food fund raiser coming up... I will give my name...sure.
Thank you for that eye opening piece of writing.

VIDYA said...

This is a really good initiative and very heart warming. and a post that made me feel tht there are lots of good ppl in the world who care abt the poor and needy. we try to include such activities when we celebrate something such as birthdays, festive days etc. food is defnitely the best kind of donation you can make second only to blood donation which i ve been trying to make myself unserstand is not painful. I aim at donating blood soon.
The answers,
1) Where you are from
Chennai.(Kerala orginally)
2) What did you serve and for how many people
Tamil meals, for around 100 people
This was just 3 days ago for my grandads death aniversary.

3) To which organization did the food go
Anbu karangal- an orphanage just two streets away.

david santos said...

Hello, Mathew!
I am sincerely grateful for its initiative.
That is a way to call the people for a glogal problem and that afecta the whole world. The hunger.
Congratulations!

onlooker said...

nice to come across a laudable effort put in by a blogger to do something, which gnaws at your heart, for the world at large. amidst the mindless banter, of course fun filled, and sort of representing of self, in a magnified sense, we bloggers tend to forget the power of reaching across to millions the blogosphere offers, and using this to do a wee little bit for our home, and our fellowbeings. hope there are other such gentle reminders which sets us to think and act!

Macadamia The Nut said...

Such a beautiful thought Mathew!
I dunno why I've never thought of this...
Hmmmm

mathew said...

@Sridevi R
thats nice to hear...i think what kind of work you doesnt matter as long as you do!!

@Vidya
:-) nice to hear postive news..

@onlooker
thanks for visiting...and for encouraging the efforts...:-)

@Macadamia The Nut
:-)

anudivya said...

Hey, first time here. Nice blog, good thoughts. I like it a lot.

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

hey Mathew..not sure if u remember me..came here here with a laugh, reading u comment to Mishmash, abt u askin 4 kooyie, not halall!!!..(cant stop laughing even now!!!)..but, felt impressed by this solemn post...

me from kochi now in kuwait.

last fud to the poor..by my dad..this oct 2nd..his 60th b'day @poors in valankanni...

n ur heart pudding is a real esy remake for a cheese cake, ..and nost to mention the olympic omlet..lollll!!!!

Stefan said...

This is awesome! I think you might be interested in my Soup Lady Project, as our entire goal is to bring people in touch with the joy of cooking homemade, healthy and nutritious food for people who really need it.

In fact, I'm about to blog about an event we are planning for November 17th in which we will release a "Start Up Kit" with recipes and lists of places that need food. I think I will definitely mention your post here as you've summed up some of the key concepts of Soup Lady philosophy - especially the part about incorporating love into food donations.

We've been delivering homemade soup to a homeless shelter in SF for about 4-5 months now and I can't tell you how great it is. My retired mom - the first official "Soup Lady" - cooks up about 4.5 gallons of soup every Wednesday and I drive it over to the shelter. You should see the reactions. The first time I went in there no one hardly looked at me. If they did they gave me a mean look. Now when I show up people come to help me and really seem excited. For people who are trying to navigate the system of homeless shelters and assistance organizations in this city a no-strings healthy tasty meal is something they can all appreciate.

If you're interested in reading more about the project or perhaps participating in it, please pop on over to our site at - feedpeopleproject.org.

Thanks again for your awesome commentary on this important topic. At a time when so much is in chaos there is nothing more grounding than the simple act of giving homemade food to hungry people.

cheers,
- Stefan

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

done!!! posted a new one in my blog..so, its just got some more life in there

Divs said...

:) nice.. a really nice(noble) thing to do..

the next time i go to an orphanage it won't be chocolates.. but it will be food.. :)

i somehow land up almost crying if i visit an orphanage or a old age home.. that sinking feeling you know.. :(

harimohan said...

dear mathew
i stumbled again into ur xlnt blog wonderful post indeed ,u have realised the joy of giving ,people who give never go bankrupt as in present global crisis .
iam from cochin ,mallu indeed
we run a special school with 140 children in kochi in memory of my daughter a spl child
www shilpasociety.org
for past 12 yrs
each day all children are given nutritious food and my wife dr premila seees to the recipe of the cook personally and we get govt noon meal scheme rations but substitute with good rice vegetables and invariably some sponsors add things like ice cream etc
kids go back in evening
all the best to u

mathew said...

@anudivya
Thanks for visiting this blog...your blog is awesome..

@A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby
ofcoz i remember you..glad to know about the initiative taken by your dad... :-)

@Stefan
Read your blog...excellent work...I hope your program takes on a mass scale and bring about a change to people's lives..

@Divs
hmm...I understand...nice to know about your efforts too..

I dont visit orphanages coz its too emotionally overpowering for me..

@Dr.Harimohan
I dont know what say...reading the efforts put by Shilpa foundation..I dont qualify to comment either...I am sure you are finding lot of satisfaction in your efforts...My wishes and prayers..

management said...

Hi,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘ambrosia’ and 'spark' took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

Cheers,

Yasmeen said...

It was amazing to read about your generosity ,Matthew. I'm always for donations to needy.
During our last visit to India,we cooked up a complete meal for kids in an orphanage.It surely was a very satisfying experience.
thanks for such a thoughtful post:)

mathew said...

@Yasmeen
nice to know about the wonderful gesture..and thanks for visiting this space.