The National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand (NCSWT) has launched the ‘free meal for the needy’ project during the “Tom Yum Kung” economic depression in Thailand. NCSWT has been providing free meals for lunch on weekday continuously for over ten years to the needy. However, the number of the needy has risen notably when the global economic crisis spreads throughout the Southeast Asian countries. NCSWT recognizes the importance of the basic need for the needy and the jobless and always ensures that everyone who comes to seek relief will be fed a good meal to sustain basic needs and good health.
NCSWT received the initial fund from Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the sum of 2 million baht in 1998. Additional donations has been given by H.M. Queen Sirikit, local business companies and individuals. At present, NCSWT distributes about 200 to 400 meals a day. Besides food services, NCSWT also provides counseling services, job placement and occupation fund, hair cut and health care services twice a month.
In 2010, NCSWT received financial support from GE Foundation, USA through the United Way Worldwide in the amount of US$ 40,000 to renovate the kitchen in order to improve and enlarge kitchen facilities to meet established standard and safety measure for the kitchen that has been providing free lunch for the needy.
In 2012, NCSWT had set up a Mobile Kitchen Van equipped with full kitchen facilities that can cook free meals to the needy on location. On August 12th, 2013, NCSWT launched the operation of Mobile Kitchen on the National Mother’s Day at the Suan Amporn Garden and served lunch for 1,200 people. The mobile kitchen van has since been in use to provide free meals to the poor and needy in different locations.
In 2013, the Free Meals for the Needy Project celebrated its 15th anniversary of the service, NCSWT extended Free Meals for the Needy services to every province during the month of August to celebrate National Mother’s Day, and also National Father’s Day in December.