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Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis in its history. The fuel and gas supply has been suspended to the entire country with the exception of emergency services. Daily power cuts are introduced, and the situation has affected almost all of the country’s population.
According to UN reports, nearly five million Sri Lankans are currently in need of food assistance. Latest surveys reveal that 86% of households are using at least one coping mechanism such as reducing food intake, including skipping meals. The cost of food inflation is more than 60% and this means people are struggling to feed their families. The reports suggest that malnutrition among children and pregnant women is alarmingly high and the highest in South Asia. In this context, Mohanji International Foundation joined hands with ACT foundation to serve the needy people in Sri Lanka beyond all man-made barriers such as race, religion, cast, gender etc.


As the very first project under the ACT 4 Sri Lanka a community kitchen was launched with the objective of serving simple, nutritious, good-quality vegan meals every day during lunch hour. The menu is simple and includes rice, dhal, a green leaf-based dish, and another vegetable as a standard every day. Given the difficulties in securing packaging materials, the food is only served to persons walking in with hunger. The kitchen is also paying special attention to providing nutritious vegan food for pregnant and feeding mothers and children less than fifteen years old.

Key Highlights

  • Secured a 4000 square feet property on lease and launched the community kitchen
  • Served lunch 6 days a week
  • Served 1056 meals during the month of August

Project description

In July 2022, Mohanji International Foundation in collaboration with ACT Foundation organized a fund-raising initiative under the banner of ACT4SriLanka to establish a community kitchen in Bandarawela, one of the underprivileged towns of Sri Lanka. On 10th July, 4000 square feet building facility comprising of an accommodation unit, a large kitchen, and a dining hall has been secured under a two-year lease term with the intention of setting up the ACT hub that includes a community kitchen. ACT volunteers have travelled within Sri Lanka, while the country is in turmoil to establish the kitchen and to recruit a small team of staff and volunteers at Bandarawela. After many hurdles including heavy rain, landslides, and shortage of firewood, our team finally launched the kitchen project on 4th of August, and consistently serves nutritious vegan food to the local underprivileged communities during the lunch hour. The demand for food increases day by day, and it is important to note that the average meals served have steadily increased from 20 meals to 50 meals per day within August. The total number of meals served during the first month of operation exceeds 1056. The highest number of meals served on a single day during August was 94.
Our team on the ground has reported that it is heart-melting to see many elderly, sick, and disabled people and school children visiting regularly to have their lunch which is the first meal for many of them. We are now looking to increase the number of meals served to around 100 by delivering lunch parcels to a nearby school with a higher number of poor children turning up for classes without any food. We are also planning to deliver lunch parcels to a nearby health centre where many pregnant women and nursing mothers wait long days without any food.