Wembley couple receive Point of Light award after feeding more than 200,000 people during Covid pandemic
PUBLISHED: 13:30 24 July 2020
A Wembley couple who fed more than 200,000 vulnerable people during Covid have won recognition from the Prime Minister.
Daksha Varsani and Paresh Jethwa who founded the ‘Community Response Kitchen’ in Alperton have been awarded the Point of Light, which recognises outstanding volunteer contributions.
Amongst the NHS staff they have served is their niece, who works on the COVID unit of Northwick Park Hospital, who helped inspire the work of their initiative.
The couple said they were “extremely humbled” by the 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.
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Since March they have cooked 200,000 hot meals and helped to supply meals to Mutual Aid groups across North London, West London, victims of Grenfell tower food banks, and those in Brent, who are supporting many isolating and vulnerable residents including the Granville Community Kitchen in Kilburn.
They added: “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.”
In a personal letter to Daksha and Paresh Boris Johnson, prime minister, 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.”
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