Chennai’s Food Santas Deliver Christmas Lunch to the Needy

The CURI Hospital volunteers turn packers or delivery personnel on Christmas Day to bring joy to many less privileged people.

This Christmas you can get Santa deliver special lunch to bring joy to someone you even don’t know in Chennai or who you care about.

Initiated by the CURI Hospital team, they would match every order with an equal number of lunch packets as their contribution so you can bring smiles to equal number of people. You can share with others yourselves or ask them to deliver to a family or a group. For instance if you order five lunches, they’d actually deliver ten.

It’s the second edition this year and “it all started just before last Christmas amid the pandemic as we wanted to bring joy and spread happiness. Last year we delivered around 250 lunch packets” says Ms Gayathri Ananthakrishnan, the MD of the hospital.

Prepared at the hospital’s kitchen, the menu curated by Chef Sathish Kumar has turned inclusive this year, catering also to patients on diet, like the diabetic or those with renal and hyper tension issues. Ms Ananthakrishnanan added “Our dieticians Vidhya, Chithira and Shiva Shankari would call those ordering diet lunch and would customise the lunch based on their condition or requirements so they too can enjoy special food on the special day”.

The menu this year includes a range of veg and non-veg dishes. Non-veg includes Mutton / Chicken Biryani, Chicken Chettinad and Chicken 65 besides accompaniments. Veg cuisine includes Veg Biryani, Kashmiri Pulav, Panneer Butter Masala, Gobi 65 with accompaniments. The diet menu has Millet Biryani, Brinjal Chahna, Kovakai Fry, Diabetic Custard and Plantain Stem Raita.

Last Christmas, Vignesh Prabhu decided to serve food to all children at an orphanage himself. At the end "when the kids joined together and said Thank you Vignesh Anna, I turned so emotional."

It’s the hospital’s team of volunteers who work for this from packing to delivery, spending their time and efforts to make this effort meaningful.

Mr Vignesh Prabhu a Coordinator cum Driver had spent the whole day for this last Christmas packing food and delivering them. “I shed tears” he says recollecting his experience of ” the joy in delivering Christmas lunch to a group of children at an orphanage”. He added “When we have parents and families I realised their situation. I decided to serve them all myself. At the end when they all joined together and said Thank you Vignesh Anna, I turned so emotional. I have never experienced this kind of love.”

Mr Gunasekhar, a Front Office Executive looks forward to his delivery duty this Christmas too. Talking about his experience last year, he says ” In a way, I turned a Santa giving surprise gifts to needy people. I can’t express my joy in words. It helped me understand the real meaning of Christmas”. Dr Rama Rajesh, a Physiotherapist turned into a “delivery girl”. She says “I used my two wheeler to deliver food. It was a wonderful experience I had experienced never before”.

Orders have already started coming in says Ms Gayathri. “One person has paid Rs 6000 to serve lunch for residents of a home for the elderly. We would send Rs 12000 worth of Christmas lunch. They can get the food delivered to themselves or tell us to who they need to be delivered.”

Ms Gayathri says this initiative motivates people of all faiths to reach out to a range of people, from their domestic helps, drivers, security guards to total strangers or those who they just wouldn’t know. A thank you note they received last year says “We enjoyed the lunch. Our maid Lakshmi conveys her appreciation for the free lunch.”

For orders or more information you can dial 8838093097 / 8778125395.


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