Images of India : A mission to feed India…

A-mission-to-feed-IndiaBig, fat Indian weddings are all about glamour, glitz and excess. And yet, it was this excess at one such wedding that gave Ankit Kawatra a simple idea that could bring succour to the poor who often have to go without two square meals a day. Feeding India, a not-for-profit social organisation tries to address two big problems of the country – hunger and food wastage. Feeding India deals with leftover food at big-ticket events. Once the food is cleared as fit for consumption, its volunteers pack it in easy-to-use boxes and distribute it to NGOs, night shelters and other organisations that might require food. India has a staggering 194.6 million undernourished people, the second highest number in the world. On the other hand, a lot of food is wasted at weddings, events, hotels and corporate offices, which can be easily channelled to feed the hungry, poor and underprivileged. Nearly 40% of food goes waste in India and food worth Rs.580 billion is wasted every year. Most of this food is dumped in landfills, where it produces methane and ultimately leads to the depletion of the ozone layer. Feeding India believes that this wasted food is enough to feed one-third of the poor. In the last two years, they have managed to get the participation of nearly 10,000 voluntary members in cities across the country. The organisation hopes to expand to around 100 cities by the end of this year. Today, it is present in most of the metropolitan cities as well as tier 1 and tier 2 cities. Feeding India hopes to provide 100 million meals by 2020. The organisation has partnered with more than 15 caterers and nearly 700 restaurants across the country. The caterers give Feeding India a call about the approximate quantity of leftovers that are likely. A team of volunteers in the neighbourhood is asked to collect the leftover food. Usually, the food is collected around 12.30 pm to be distributed as lunch. Feeding India is dependent on donations to take care of its operational expenditure. Currently, it is trying to generate funds to acquire more Trucks to enhance the efficiency of food pick-up and delivery. One Truck costs nearly Rs.1 million.