"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give," goes a quote by the late British prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.
It is a fact that restaurants are among the businesses badly hit by the Movement Control Order (MCO), due to the restrictions imposed on operating hours and dining in.
Despite these, family-run Merga Restaurant in Klang, Selangor, is providing freshly cooked lunch packets to the needy, daily.
According to its owner Nagalingam Nagaraju, the initiative began during the first MCO in March last year, reported Free Malaysia Today (FMT).
During the period, the restaurant, which was started by Nagalingam's parents, distributed close to 10,000 hot food packets to the needy, with the support of family, friends, and NGO KitaPeduli.my.
"When we received the news that there would be another MCO, my father and I decided to revive our previous initiative. But due to travel restrictions, we decided to distribute the food directly from the restaurant," Nagalingam, 43, told the news portal.
Merga Restaurant currently distributes a minimum of 120 hot meals daily, and whether the food served is vegetarian or non-vegetarian depends on the sponsors, Nagalingam added.
"If it's 120 packets of vegetarian food, the cost would be around RM400. But if they request non-vegetarian food to be served, the price would be a bit higher."
Nagalingam's team, with his mother as the chief cook, start works in the kitchen as early as 9.30am daily, and by 11am, steaming hot food is ready to be packed and distributed.
The food is then packed and by noon onwards, the team hand out the meals to the needy who drop by. By 12.30pm, the food usually runs out.
Besides providing free food to the needy daily, Merga Restaurant also treats seniors at a nearby old folks home to yummy food every Friday.
With overwhelming support from family and friends to be sponsors for the nitiative, Nagalingam is hopeful that it can be continued on a monthly basis, even when the current total lockdown ends on June 28.
"Even though 70 percent of the restaurant’s business is down due to the pandemic, we believe our family-run restaurant is able to survive. Plus, we see a lot of folks suffering, so by having this initiative, it gives us some form of satisfaction to see their face light up when they receive the food," said Nagalingam.
If you are interested to support Merga Restaurant as a sponsor, you can contact Nagalingam at 016-6970651.
Such a heartwarming story indeed. At a time a where many businesses are complaining about making losses, an establishment like Merga Restaurant shows that goodwill speaks louder than just being business-minded.
Source & Photos source: FMT
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