Radar | Jul 06,2019
Chaka Coffee, one of the coffee shops and cafes in the capital, has started feeding 300 people whose lives have been affected due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic once a day.
The beneficiaries are from Bole District, where the weredaadministrations of the District selected them. The feeding is taking place on the premises of the weredasthemselves. The beneficiaries are divided into three groups. In the first group the company feeds 140 people, while the second and third teams serve 100 and 60 people, respectively.
The company kicked off the programme last month. It will continue for three more months with the possibility of being extended if things do not get back to normal, according to Besrat Belay, managing director at Chaka, which was established five years ago with one million Birr in capital. Currently, it raised its capital to 20 million Br and operates with 150 employees.
The beneficiaries are commercial sex workers, street children and people living in poverty, according to Seblework Bekele, spokesperson of Wereda 04.
Chaka Coffee sources food ingredients locally and spends 35 Br a meal for each person, excluding the cost of electricity, employees' salaries for this programme and other expenses. From Monday to Saturday, the company offers injerawith different stews, and macaroni and rice are served on Sundays. Chaka spends more than 10,000 Br a day and a little over 300,000 Br a month for the feeding programme.
The company started the initiative for only one month by providing food for 500 people, but it extended the programme for three months and reduced the number of people being served every week, according to Besrat.
"This round of feeding will continue until September," Besrat told Fortune.
The meals are cooked at Chaka's kitchen by chefs who were cooking meals for the Addis Abeba City Administration school feeding programme but lost their jobs following the closure of schools due to COVID-19.
Meron Werku was one of the chefs that were hired by Chaka after she left her job cooking for Misrak Dele School.
"I'm getting 150 Br a day, and we work in shifts," she said.
Chaka delivers the cooked meals to the premises of the weredaspacked in plastic bags using its own vehicles.
Seyid Ebrahim, who lives in the District, is one of the beneficiaries included on the list after being selected by his weredaand receiving a coupon.
"I've been getting the lunch since the first day of the programme," he said.
Apart from the feeding initiative, the company is supporting different charity organisations such as the Macedonians Humanitarian Association, Muday Charity Association and Gergesenon Association for Supporting Peoples with Mental Disorder.
Abeje Berhanu (PhD), an associate professor at the College of Social Science at Addis Abeba University, appreciates the move of the company since it is helping many people at a time by feeding those in need and hiring chefs who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Abeje also called on other private companies to join the effort, explaining that the government by itself cannot satisfy the needs of the people who will be affected by the pandemic.
If the situation gets worse, a total of 30 million vulnerable people will require food support, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Finance.
PUBLISHED ON Jun 14,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1051]
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