As the pandemic rages on, and many states are still under strict lockdown, an eatery in Penang is doing its part to help the needy
Arati Vilas Restaurant in Tanjung Bungah Park, George Town has been serving free meals every Wednesday since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was first implemented in March last year, reported Free Malaysia Today.
In fact, the eatery has also managed to not lay off a single member of their staff, paying full salaries despite struggling to make up for lost revenue.
Now, more than 15 months into the pandemic and amidst renewed lockdown measures, the owner, Vengdesparan N Rajalingam, has pledged to go one step further to help others.
They have pledged to donate at least 100 meals a day for the month of July
Upon hearing of the #BenderaPutih or the white flag campaign – through which those in need of financial and food assistance are raising white flags outside their homes – Vengdesparan said that they will be giving away a minimum of 100 meals every single day this month.
He also shared that his eatery won't be asking any questions from anyone who comes to collect the meal packet.
"We run on a trust system here. If you can't afford a meal, you can count on us. I’m not going to ask questions too. Just take your food and leave," he told Free Malaysia Today.
"This is our community initiative, which we have been doing at a smaller scale for years. But due to COVID-19, we have ramped things up. Many need help."
The meals consist of a serving of rice, fried chicken, fried fish, eggs, and other freshly made delicacies.
Vengdesparan also assured that they will not compromise on the quality of the food, using only grade-A eggs and fragrant rice.
They also distribute food to help out those in need around the city
Vengdesparan, aided in his efforts by his wife Philomena, also pledged to help marooned trishaw riders around George Town. Under the current MCO rules, the lack of tourists and restricted movement by locals means their livelihood is all but lost.
For this end, he sends his son Arvind, who diligently identifies and distributes more packed food to those in need, which includes the homeless, garbage collectors, as well as those who have lost their jobs.
The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Saturday and free food is available for collection between 12pm and 3pm
Those in need can visit the restaurant at their address:
No 9, Tanjung Bungah Park, Tanjung Bungah,
George Town, Pulau Pinang;
You may even contact them directly if you would like to contribute to their cause.
Read more about the #BenderaPutih movement and how despite the white flag's common association with defeat, in the current local context it's a far cry from that: