What do you feel about the excess food left in your house after a grand party? Do you give it away to your friends, relatives and housemaids, or simply dump them in the waste bins? This food can have a better purpose, it can be fed to needy and poor in your country who cannot afford to have a proper meal. Thousands of people including, kids die because of lack of nutrition and sleep empty stomachs. The left-over food can become their meal of the day. How can you do this? You can reach out to someone whom you think needs the food or call Feeding India!
When Delhi-based young man, Ankit Kawatra saw a great amount of food that could feed a thousand people getting wasted at a wedding, he thought of starting a service that would pickup excess food from events to feed the poor at shelter homes. He launched, Feeding India in August 2014, to drive his idea to feed the poor and to invite volunteers.
“We sometimes give money to the homeless to buy food or even buy it ourselves for them. But the idea behind this service was not to buy food but use what is already available in abundance,” says Ankit.
Feeding India is a non profit organisation run by youth to fight hunger. Volunteers are called Hunger Heroes, who solve hunger problem in the city by redistributing excess food from big events and parties.
Ankit also launched a 24*7 helpline for people to call at if they wanted to donate excess food.
However, this was not enough, Feeding India needed a regular supply of food to feed people daily. They partnered with catering companies who would contact Ankit and his team whenever there is an event. Hunger Heroes who stayed closer to the venue would reach at the end of the event to pick up excess food. If food is not distributed the same day, it is stored in cold storage to feed the needy the next day.
They also has a team of food experts who test the food’s quality before it is taken out for redistribution.
The organisation that feeds the needy is now 750 Hunger Heroes strong. These volunteers are from across 20 cities.
Like any other organisation, the team do face challenges. When caterers deny to pay for the transport cost of the food distributed, the volunteers pay themselves. The team is so determined to feed people that even when they have to make two rounds to pick the food, they do not hesitate to do it. Feeding India has donated 2.5 lakh meals across India. All of this and more without any external financial support! More power to you guys!**
The organisation has also partnered with corporate houses who would contact the team to pick up excess food after any office party and from the office canteens.
Feeding India also run campaigns and events to educate people on the significance of excess food and the cause. India’s star chefs have also joined them during their events to talk about their love for food and on how it should be used for a better cause.
“We organize small events where we make people pledge that they will not waste food. Through these small interventions we are trying to change the mindset of the people,” says Srishti.
Feeding India aims at reaching 50 Indian cities to fight hunger and to provide people proper meals.
If you like to join the drive or want to contact Feeding India to donate excess food, you can reach them here.