Indonesian Food Stalls Offer Free Food to Workers

by SEA Wave
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By: Shaina Semaña

 

Much like its neighboring countries, Indonesia imposed a nationwide lockdown as well, forcing most people to work from home to eliminate the risk of catching the coronavirus. However, this set-up is a privilege for office workers and those with secured job and daily wage workers, unlike public transportation drivers and trash collectors, they need to go out and take more risks or they will lose their jobs or sources of income.

To extend a helping hand with these workers, dozens of food stalls—locally known as wartegs—offer them free lunch every day. The national warteg group, Kowantara, teamed up with humanitarian NGO Aksi Tanggap (ACT) for the effort. The plan started with the idea of serving about a hundred portions of healthy lunch for the workers.

ACT started in 2005 and, since then, has been working with public donors and private companies for CSR (corporate social responsibility) partnerships to support its efforts for community empowerment and development, post-disaster recovery and spiritual-based programs in Indonesia. Over the years, ACT expanded its reach in about 22 countries in Asia, Middle East, Africa and East Europe.

Photo from Arab News

Teaming up Kowantara to provide food for daily wage workers is one of ACT’s efforts to help Indonesia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The initiative started with 100 food stalls with the goal of involving 1,000 in the course of the initiative. Their budget came from ACT’s COVID-19 relief funds donated to the organization for the said cause. Warteg owners and their crew promise that they follow coronavirus prevention measures when preparing the lunch meals and when distributing it to daily wage worker beneficiaries. ACT offers aid to the warteg owners as well to make sure that their business survives even as they provide free food to the workers whose income drastically dropped by 70% since the pandemic started.

ACT spokesperson, Lukman Aziz Kurniawan, said in an article that the organization continues its efforts to get more food stalls involved to provide more food for daily wage income workers, with the goal of involving 1,000 wartegs until the pandemic emergency ends.

SEA Wave magazine’s SEAtizens initiative is a series of inspiring stories of people in Southeast Asia who champion the human spirit by demonstrating courage, ingenuity, generosity, and selflessness amidst the current crisis.

Do you know individuals or organizations that can be part of the SEAtizens series to inspire more people through their stories? E-mail us at desk@seawave.media.

 

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