A joy to cook for nursing home


Free lunch: Lee showing one serving of the prepared food for Naam Nursing Home. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: She rises before dawn, cooks and sends breakfast to 35 senior citizens of a nursing home, heads back and prepares another 40 portions for lunch to be sent over at noon.

This has been the weekend routine for homemaker Lee Shu Lin, 36, since January.

Lee, who sends food to a nursing home here, said: “I wake up around 4am every weekend to prepare items such as porridge, bread or kuih with porridge dessert as breakfast for the residents there.

“Then I return home after sending the breakfast before going to the market to buy ingredients for lunch.

“For lunch, I usually prepare three dishes consisting of one chicken, one vegetable, one egg or tofu and rice, ” she said in an interview.

Lee said her weekend routine started after members of the Community Policing Malaysia (CPM) Penang Charity Team came up with the idea to send home-cooked food for residents of the nursing home.

“In the past, some 20 members would contribute a small amount of money each to buy raw materials for the nursing home every week.

“After one of them suggested sending them home-cooked food every weekend, I volunteered to cook for them.

“We wanted to contribute to the community and bring joy to residents at the nursing home.

“Now, I cook for them every Saturday and Sunday, including the first and 15th of each lunar month, ” she said.

Although it would take her several hours to prepare each meal, Lee said she was “rewarded” by the smiles from the senior citizens when she delivered the food.

“The workers always tell me that the residents enjoy my food and hearing this is enough to make me happy, ” she said.

Naam Nursing Home administration manager B. Selvarani, who receives the food every weekend, said they were thankful to Lee for her efforts.

“We have 35 residents here and all of them look forward to their meals during the weekends.

“Many of them are old and weak, so their family members are unable to take them out. And some of them are unable to walk.

“Thus, these small gestures really bring them joy and brighten up their day, ” she said.

CPM Penang Charity Team vice-president Herry Teh said their team, who aids the home from time to time, said they would send food ingredients to the home on weekdays to ease the home’s burden.

“With the money collected among our members, we cover part of the cost to Lee’s home-cooked food and delivery as well and we hope to continue this as long as we have funds, ” he said.

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