Community Response Kitchen
1428. Daksha Varsani
1429. Paresh Jethwa
Daksha Varsani and Paresh Jethwa, from Wembley, founded the ‘Community Response Kitchen’ which has served a staggering 200,000 vegetarian Indian meals to NHS staff and vulnerable people during COVID-19.
Amongst the NHS staff they have served is their niece, who works on the COVID unit of London’s Northwick Park Hospital, and has helped inspire the work of their initiative. Daksha and Paresh have also overseen the delivery of over 85,000 care packages of food and toiletries.
In a personal letter to Daksha and Paresh, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Over the last few months, I have been inspired by the many brilliant ways in which our country has come together to support the extraordinary men and women in our wonderful NHS.
“You know from your own niece the gruelling hours they have endured and the sheer courage with which they have saved so many lives, my own included.
“So I wanted to thank you for the special effort you have made to revitalise their spirits with many thousands of deliveries of your delicious curry, papaya salad and lemon pickle!
“Your endeavours are a fantastic example of the community spirit which has united and uplifted our nation throughout this battle with Coronavirus.”
Daksha and Paresh said:
“We are extremely humbled to receive this prestigious award. Throughout the lockdown, the ‘Community Response Kitchen’ has been working every day to support NHS workers and vulnerable residents across London. Our team of dedicated volunteers have truly committed themselves to our cause. Initially we set out to help doctors and nurses who were struggling to cook for themselves but quickly realised the need for us to expand and start assisting in our community too. We have to date served over 200,000 hot meals and helped to supply meals to Mutual Aid groups across North London, West London, victims of Grenfell tower and surrounding areas food banks, and particularly in Brent, who themselves are supporting many isolating and vulnerable residents. Our ambition is to continue providing this essential service into the future. Times will continue to be tough and the ‘Community Response Kitchen’ will carry on playing our part in helping us all get through this.”
Pictured: above – Daksha Varsani and Paresh Jethwa (photo credit: Bhupendrasinh Jethwa)