Having identified three families experiencing homelessness together nearby, Cherry chose the weekend before the festival of Janmashtami as the occasion to perform her act. “Because of Covid, people everywhere are suffering,” Cherry says, acknowledging her surprise at finding such homelessness in her own area. “A larger-scale act might not be possible, but a small-scale one like this one could be done. I wanted to help as someone who has the means to do so.”
Covid-19 also shaped the act. Instead of approaching the families first to find out what they might require, the safest option involving minimal contact was simply providing what everyone needs daily: a healthy meal. So Cherry chose a small, locally-owned restaurant where she could purchase Biryani, a warm rice and vegetable dish that is both nutritious and filling. Ordering 20 servings online, Cherry knew that she could go back for more afterward if needed. The restaurant also sold half-price food as a festival special, which effectively doubled her original budget.
Small Acts, Big Goals
While some declined food from a stranger, it was not long before all of Cherry’s purchased meals were accepted, along with the servings of yogurt and spoons she added. “Regardless of who you are, you need food to make it through the day,” Cherry explains, happy that she could instigate one small act as part of the bigger Random Acts food equity purpose. “If I could help a group of people by providing them even one meal, that would be one less meal that they needed to worry about personally.”