KERALA, India — Kerala restaurant owner Vimal Sengupta has paid up to $1.1 million to customers of his popular Kerala Deliciosos in a bid to help reduce food insecurity in the state, he said in a telephone interview.

The owner of Kerala Deli in Vadapalani district said he has been receiving calls from customers who have been forced to go hungry due to food shortages in the city.

“There is a big demand for our food here, and we have been offering our food at very low prices,” he said.

“We have been giving out food for free for a month and have started paying customers as well.

We are doing this to help people in need.”

The owner said the business has been operating for five years and he has received calls from people all over the state demanding their food.

He said the amount was about Rs1.3 crore, but added that it would increase if the food became even more scarce.