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Rupees Grill restaurant exterior from street

Croydon Indian restaurant offers free meals for doctors and nurses during coronavirus

By Joe Ives
April 3 2020, 14.00

Rupees Grill & Restaurant in Croydon has been offering free food for doctors and nurses during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Indian restaurant in Shirley started delivering free meals to medical staff on March 19 and has been arranging food orders for them every day since.

The aim is to help hard-working doctors and nurses as they fight coronavirus, which has now infected over 33,000 people in the UK.

The restaurant’s owner Muhammad Ali, 43, said: “I think it’s very important because they’re doing very very long shifts and coming home to no food or they’re too tired to cook.”

Mr Ali, who has been running the Wickham Road restaurant since 1998, said the reaction has been very positive, with a lot of his regular customers calling up to share their appreciation.

He said: “I did it from the bottom of my heart, just to help out – not to get any publicity or anything like that, just looking after my community at large.”

Rupees Grill has been delivering an average of three meals a day to doctors and nurses.

Mr Ali says he is open to helping even more NHS staff and encourages his customers to let him know if they are aware of anyone else who needs food.

He has also been keen to maximise safety, switching to contactless delivery and advising staff to wear gloves and masks.

Things have not been straightforward for the restaurant, with the cost and availability of meat and fresh vegetables fluctuating in recent weeks.

Nevertheless, the Rupees Grill owner said it felt good to be part of the supportive community spirit which has emerged.

Mr Ali said: “I haven’t seen so much peace in my lifetime.”

Featured image credit: Rupees Grill & Restaurant, Facebook

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