Mahesh Memorial Trust

Mahesh Memorial Trust Creates Modern New Kitchen at Adyar Cancer Institute

Highlights Importance of Nutrition in Cancer Treatment

Chennai, February 20, 2014 –Mahesh Memorial Trust, a non profit organisation, has built a modern new kitchen at the Adyar Cancer Institute which will cater to the requirements of patients and staff members. Located adjacent to the Mahesh Memorial Trust Paediatric Oncology Centre, the 2,500 sq.ft. space is divided into a kitchen and dining area enabling preparation of healthy and hygienic breakfast, lunch and dinner for approximately 300 adult patients, 50 children in the Mahesh Memorial Paediatric Oncology Centre, and more than 100 staff members, on a daily basis.

Recognising the importance of nutrition in the treatment of cancer, the Trust collaborated with the Cancer Institute to rebuild the kitchen. The focus of the design was to build an efficient and easy to maintain work place allowing staff to prepare hygienic and nutritious meals. The kitchen has been equipped with state-of-the-art steel steam generator, steam boiler, steam idly cookers, vegetable cutters and dough kneaders. The dining area with a seating capacity of 50 caters to the doctors and staff on duty.

“Modernisation of the kitchen and dining facilities are required to cater to a larger section of patients now who need more hygienic and palatable food. The Institute subsidises nearly 70% of the treatment costs for needy people but food and stay is given free. Hence, to provide better patient care and quality care, the modernisation plan was undertaken. MMT has supported us a great deal – especially for the kids. It was Mahesh’s wish to see a separate centre for them and his family and friends have carried out his wish to establish this unique state-of-the-art facility. The kitchen project will take care of greatly improving care and quality to the patients. We have also arranged for battery operated cars which will transport the food from the kitchen to the patients and save a great deal of time and ensure the freshly prepared food is distributed in time. Everything has been done to increase the comfort levels of the patients and kids,” said Dr. T G Sagar, Director and Dean at the Cancer Institute Adyar.

Mahesh Memorial Kitchen and Dining is yet another milestone in the Trust’s collaboration with Cancer Institute Adyar. We feel uniquely privileged to be associated with the internationally renowned institute.

We spread the word about this project and Mr. K Venkatesh of Vaaathu Foundation, doing many charitable works, donated a substantial sum for this initiative as did the Atlanta Tamil Sangam. Thanks to them and many other donors, this is now a reality. What and how you eat is important especially when recovering from an illness and this new, clean state-of-the-art kitchen will go a long way towards ensuring high standards of cleanliness, hygiene and good health,” said Chitra Mahesh, Managing Trustee, MMT.

“Previously all adults and children ate the same food. But there was a need to focus on introducing high protein diet for the children to compensate for the nutrient loss during the cancer recovery treatment. MMT started with supplement nutrients in October 2011 including biscuits, PediaSure, flavoured milk and Manna health mix,” said Srividhya, consultant dietician at MMT.

MMT collaborated with ReStore Gardens Projects to establish a kitchen garden behind the MMT Oncology Centre. Implementing permaculture, a technique which uses naturally available waste mass like dry leaves, sugarcane, flowers, coconut waste, etc., the rocky ground on the premises was made fertile to grow fresh produce. “The vegetables grown here are moong dhal, cow peas, ladies fingers, pumpkins, spinach, greens, tomatoes, chillies, yam, ash gourd, bananas, papayas, beetle and mint. The project is maintained by committed volunteers from schools, colleges, corporate and anyone interested in gardening and helps give the kids safe, fresh and organic food to eat,” said Priya Gopalan, volunteer, ReStore Kitchen Garden Project.

Photographs here.