Lunch for 500
December 29, 2016

Shortly after we arrived at the Koenawin Monastery for our visit a couple of days ago, the Monk suddenly said: “The kids are coming. Let’s go for their lunch”. So, off we went to the lunch area.

Turns out that 418 kids live here and all return from the local government schools for lunch. Plus, a bunch of local kids also turn up for a good, free vegetarian meal. They average over 500 for the meals – three a day. That’s a lot of food! Here’s a couple of views of the huge food storage area.

Can you tell that this Monk used to be a military officer? Even the vegetables are at attention!

It’s quite a production serving that many kids in a short time. They’ve got a great system worked out. Every kid gets a metal dish, scrambles up for a serving “bunch-up”, eats with their hands in the traditional way, and then washes their dish and puts it away.
How, you wonder, do they cook this much food? They do it in BIG cooking vats. Take a look at this kitchen process.
Rice is cooked in 100+ kilo batches. Here are two of their giant, wood fired rice cookers.
So, there you have it. That’s how we cook and serve meals for 500 kids three times a day. Pretty amazing, I think.