May 14, 2020 / 8:47 AM / 12 days ago

Out-of-work Thai chefs cook for others made jobless by virus crisis

A volunteer prepares free lunch boxes for low-income communities during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Professional chefs on Wednesday started cooking up around 40,000 lunches in Thailand’s capital for communities affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chef Hugs, a local charity, hired 200 chefs and dozens of taxi drivers, many of whom are currently living on very little income, for the 10-day project. Some of the chefs are from renowned restaurants across the city.

“I’m a cook and I don’t have work now. I’m in trouble, but I know there are people who are far worse off, so I want to do this for them,” said Thanyalak Suttama, preparing trays of ground meat.

All chefs involved in the project are receiving 400 baht ($12) a day, while taxi drivers are earning 300 baht ($9) for transporting the food to 50 low-income communities across Bangkok. Around 4,000 meals are being made each day.

Thailand on Wednesday reported no new daily COVID-19 cases for the first time in two months as the government considered easing more restrictions on businesses.

Editing by Janet Lawrence

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