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Coronavirus: Wembley couple’s appeal for £100,000 to serve 200,000 meals to key workers in 100 days

PUBLISHED: 16:55 30 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:15 01 May 2020

Daksha Varsani and husband Paresh Jethwa have set a challenge of 200,000 meals in 100 days. Picture: Dinesh Joshi

Daksha Varsani and husband Paresh Jethwa have set a challenge of 200,000 meals in 100 days. Picture: Dinesh Joshi

Josh Photography

A Wembley couple have set themselves and their volunteers a huge challenge to raise £100,000 so they can serve 200,000 meals to the community in just 100 days.

Pravin Vagadia, head chef of Bansuri Dabeli and Pravin Vekaria, chef's helper. Picture: Dinesh JoshiPravin Vagadia, head chef of Bansuri Dabeli and Pravin Vekaria, chef's helper. Picture: Dinesh Joshi

Six weeks ago Daksha Varsani and husband Paresh Jethwa decided to cook 50 meals a week for NHS key workers to show support during the Covid crisis.

In the meantime they have cooked more than 87,000 meals and have inspired a whole community in the borough and now their cooked food and other donated food from local businesses are received by charities, schools and mutual aid groups in other parts of London.

Their Community Response Kitchen is based at the KSL community centre in Alperton, where husband and wife team Pravin and Nita Vagadia, chefs of Bansuri Dabeli, have brought staff in as volunteers to help cook the food after their restaurant was forced to close.

Twenty five drivers laid off by covid are donating time to ensure hospitals, schools and community organisations get the freshly-made food and essential items daily.

The Community Response Kitchen team who will cook and deliver 200,000 meals in 100 days. Picture; Dinesh JoshiThe Community Response Kitchen team who will cook and deliver 200,000 meals in 100 days. Picture; Dinesh Joshi

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Daksha said: “Our Community Response Kitchen is driven by love for our community and compassion for those that need help. While we’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of so many we know that to do more we need to raise money to cover running costs and also ensure we provide a range of balanced, delicious and nutritious food seven days a week”.

Pravin Vagadia said closing his kitchen was a “huge blow”. “I am very proud we have been able to achieve for so many NHS heroes and vulnerable people and we are here for as long as our community needs us,” he added.

Beneficiaries include Granville Community Kitchen, Salusbury World, Newman Catholic College, and Just Homes in Newham which oversees seven homeless hostels.

Giles Deards, Trustee of Queens Park-based refugee support charity, Salusburv World, said: “When we first heard of a wife and husband making free food we thought it might be for a week or two. Now dozens of charities across Brent receive hundreds of meals every week.”

Cllr Anton Georgiou, Lib Dem Alperton representative, said: “It is been heartening to see the community pull together during this incredibly difficult time. I’m hugely grateful to Daksha and the CRK team for what they are doing to support key NHS and social care workers and vulnerable residents in Brent and beyond. They’re providing an incredible service which is helping us all to cope and I encourage people to continue supporting, by donating to their appeal or sending them produce.”

£10 would help sponsor fresh rice and fruit/veg for 20 meals, £20 will enable an unpaid driver to cover the cost of delivery for a day and £50 would sponsor three 10kg bags of wholesale rice – enough rice for 450 meals.

Give what you can at gofundme.com/f/help-us-make-200000-meals-in-100-days


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