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Lockdown heroes donate healthier pandemic diet than instant noodles

Jakarta Globe - August 16, 2021

Yudha Baskoro, Solo, Central Java – While most charity groups and state agencies have opted for instant noodles as a more practical way to supply food for people under the Covid-19 quarantine, these men in Central Java offer fiber intake for free.

Adrian Reza, 24, and his friends initiate "sayur gratis (vegetables for free) Surakarta" movement to help those in self-isolation and without an income due to lockdown.

As the government extends the lockdown, many micro sector businesses struggle to survive and face bankruptcy due to devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adrian himself had to switch his job from a percussion instruments maker to a vegetable supplier due to community restrictions (PPKM). The latest lockdown worsened the situation.

"I was forced not to make any more musical instruments. Dozens of projects have been cancelled," he said at traditional market Pasar Legi in Solo, Central Java on July 31.

As a young man, Adrian admitted that he feels anxious seeing people around him losing their jobs and becoming increasingly distressed. He is uncertain when PPKM will end as Solo still has a high number of Covid-19 deaths and positive cases.

Adrian and his friends, who also changed jobs to become vegetable suppliers, felt compelled to do something. They were inspired to start the 'sayur gratis Surakarta' movement after seeing many patients in self-isolation at the kampong.

Surakarta is the official name of the city of Solo.

"Those who are undergoing self-isolation are poor people. They can't pay bills and buy food because the backbone of the family can't work. We need to help those families and bring them free vegetables", he added.

While the government provides some food vouchers, Adrian believes people need to have access to more nutritious, tasty food.

"The social assistance from the government is mostly just instant noodles. It's not as delicious to eat without vegetables," he said as he arranged vegetables on a motorbike.

This movement is also expected to revive the vegetable trading business in Pasar Legi.

Every morning at 04.00 am, Adrian and his friends gather at Pasar Legi to buy vegetables from different small traders.

At 08.00 am, the 'sayur gratis Surakarta' team visits every household in need.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/vision/lockdown-heroes-donate-healthier-pandemic-diet-than-instant-noodle