ACTNews, SOUTH TANGERANG – It was very quiet on Sedap Malam Street in East Ciputat, South Tangerang City, Tuesday (3/2/2021) afternoon. Only online motorcycle taxis and street vendors were seen. Many food stalls on the roadsides were closed. However, Musrifah’s food stall was bustling with activities.
Though the stall was open, no food was visible behind the glass shelves. There were only packages of meal ordered by Aksi Cepat Tanggap for the Free Meal Operation program. “I cook only when there are orders,” said Musrifah.
The refrigerator near the glass shelves was also empty and unused. Previously, it was used to store the cold tea and other drinks that Musrifah sells. It has been a year since the fridge was last used.
"Many of my customers were college students. During the Covid-19 pandemic, students no longer go to the campus. Many rented houses have also been deserted by their tenants. Who would buy my tea?” said the woman who came from Klaten, Central Java.
Musrifah’s food stall was among those that were forced to go out of business. Currently, she only cooks by order. To make ends meet, she has been selling all kinds of goods, from eggs, cooking oil, cassava, to fruits. "I also sell flowers and ornamental plants in front of my house," she said.
Previously, Musrifah can make up to IDR 500,000 daily. However, without any customer, she will lose money if she dares to run her food stall because cooked dishes are prone to spoilage if they aren’t sold out. She does not want to risk losing a lot of money. “It will be very lucky if we just make a return of investment,” said the mother of three.
She is doing everything halal to make ends meet. Her husband is also doing his best working as a motorcycle taxi driver. Since the pandemic, his income has become uncertain. Often times he goes home empty-handed.
"I am grateful despite the difficult financial conditions. The important thing is that my family is healthy. If we are healthy, my husband and I can still earn money for us to eat, Insha Allah, even if we can only eat rice,” she said.
Through the Free Meal Operation program, Musrifah was able to cook dishes to be distributed for free. She was very grateful to be able to run her business again so that she can earn extra income. She will use the revenue from the orders made by Aksi Cepat Tanggap as her business capital to continue running her food stall.
Musrifah is one of the many MSME owners who have gone out of business due to the Covid-19 pandemic. To help them, ACT and Global Wakaf have held many programs such as Free Meal Operation and Waqf for Indonesian Micro Business to help small businesses grow.