Amma canteens in the city are bracing up to handle more customers. Women Self-Help Groups employed to run the canteens say that required materials such as food grains and vegetables have been stocked in advance.
The Amma canteen near the Tiruchi Junction sees a footfall of about 250 people every day. ‘We sell about 1600 idlies in the morning. For lunch, we serve as many as 150 plates of sambar rice and the same extent of curd rice,’ says P. Saraswathi, in-charge of the unit. Idlies are sold for ₹ 1 each and sambhar rice for ₹ 5 a plate while curd rice costs ₹ 3 per plate.
Most of the customers at this unit constitute travellers alighting from or boarding trains at the Tiruchi Junction. With the closure of eateries, more customers are expected. ‘We are prepared to serve a larger crowd. In fact, the Corporation has arranged food for all sanitary workers from our canteen from today onwards,’ she said.
At the Amma Canteen adjacent to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital where a majority of customers are family members and attenders of patients admitted at the GH, the numbers have begun picking up.
R. Vijayalakshmi, in-charge at the unit, said they have been selling at least 100 additional plates of food in the last two days. ‘We usually sell 150 plates of curd rice and sambar rice. Now, we are selling at least 250 plates of sambar rice. We have stocked all necessary food grains and vegetables required for this increase in demand and will ensure food for all,’ she said.
The authorities have ensured that the women working at the units have all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for working at this time, Ms. Vijayalakshmi said. ‘A heater has been installed to wash all the dishes with hot water. We have been serving with gloves on but from now on we must also wear masks,’ she said.
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