Feeding India, India
Garvi Samariya on October 5, 2018 in Food & Shelter
India has a serious hunger problem and ranks 100 among 119 developing countries, lagging behind countries such as North Korea and Iraq and is also one of the countries with the lowest reduction in hunger according to the global hunger index report.
While, 40% of food produced in India is wasted or lost. The paradox of millions going hungry in India while food goes to waste is not lost on us.
In 2014, Srishti Jain and Ankit Kawatra quit their corporate jobs and started Feeding India a not-for-profit organisation that is trying to end hunger by redistributing good nutritious food to the needy.
It all started when they saw food that could feed 5000 people being dumped at a wedding they attended. “This really shocked us and after talking to a few caterers and organisers we found that surplus food being thrown away was a very common practice. We never set out to start an NGO but after contacting several government agencies and NGOs who were not interested in taking up this task, we decided we wanted do something about this on a personal level.”
So, they started going to wedding and caterers and picking up food, but since this was a new concept they were met with a lot of scepticism. People wondered if they would sell the food that was being donated and sometimes even wanted to charge them for the food that was otherwise being thrown away. But after explaining that they would not be making any money from this and that the food would be distributed to the vulnerable and needy they understood and joined the cause.
Then when they started working with restaurants the main issue was that they did want to donate the food in case of food contamination causing trouble for them, but they worked out a deal where the restaurants would not be held responsible for the food once it left their premises.
“We ensure the food is fresh and unused, we perform certain quality checks like PH value” assures Srishti.
Now just after 4 years of setting up Feeding India, they are now active in 65 cities across India and they have 8500 volunteers working with them, whom they call "hunger heroes". They have also partnered with various restaurants, bakeries and corporate canteens across the country from where they pick up the food.
Srishti says, “We just don’t want to redistribute the food but we want to end hunger. Hence the key beneficiaries are the children, elderly and specially-abled. We give food to schools and children centres where the food acts as a motivation for children to come and study and learn and, become more independent.”
You can call on their 24x7 helpline number +9198711-78810 if you have excess food at an event. They usually come and collect the food if it is for more than 30 people and if the food is for less than 30 people they can give advice as to where you can go and donate. “We are now also setting up community fridges across the country where excess food can be taken to, we are working towards setting up 500 community fridges across India.”
If we all try and manage extra food and reduce food wastage we can help in reducing hunger in India to a substantial level.