Talk about grub with a Londoner and set a timer: they’ll all bring up Dishoom in less than a minute. And with good reason, too. Opening their first restaurant in Covent Garden, the name has grown and grown, garnering cult status among foodies around here.
If you’ve braved the queues to one of their nine UK restaurants and tried the food, you’ll understand why it’s so revered. But it’s not just the sumptuous dishes that make Dishoom somewhere to shout about.
For each meal served at Dishoom, the restaurant gives a meal to a child in India or the UK who might have otherwise gone hungry. Now, it’s just been revealed that this scheme has reached the milestone of 15 million meals donated to children across both countries through their ‘meal for a meal’ charity.
They started this collaberation with long-term partners Magic Breakfast and The Akshaya Patra Foundation during Ramadan in 2015 as their ‘zakat’ (act of almsgiving) and has since grown to involve a donation from Naan Roll Kits. They both work with 22,000 schools in England, Scotland and India to offer a healthy meal to more than two million school children every day.
Providing nutritious free school meals to children in both India and the UK, the charities ensure that children can head to their classroom without an empty stomach to provide a stronger learning environment. Both work alongside Dishoom to work towards the goal of ending food poverty as a barrier to education.
This service is of undeniable importance in both nations. The UK is gripped by a cost of living crisis and Magic Breakfast’s partner schools believe that child hunger has increased by 81% in their school community over the last year.
In India, these meals are key, both to move towards no child being too hungry to learn, but also encourage school attendance where access to education, for girls in particular, can be restricted. If a family is struggling financially, girls can often be taken out of school earlier – and the incentive of a free school meal through Akshaya Patra can go a long way to tackle this issue.
Before the pandemic began, Dishoom were donating over 2.5 million meals a year. When schools shut, they created their delivery service which meant every bacon naan roll and vegan sausage roll kit leads to donations.
This has all lead to the 15 million meals donated through Dishoom, Magic Breakfast and The Akshaya Patra Foundation, which should be championed.
Read more about Dishoom’s charity partnership here.