Events are often organised based on an underlying theme of abundance. Maybe because of this, extravaganzas always come with a sense of guilt which arises from wasting resources in a world where many die due to scarcity. For those of you who want to enjoy the evening without that burden, simply give a call to Feeding India.
Established in August 2014, Feeding India is a Delhi-based non-profit social enterprise dedicated to channelising surplus food to hungry mouths. This youth funded organisation tackles two major problems and creates a sustainable solution rather simply. Instead of wasting surplus fresh food from events, parties and restaurants, Feeding India helps people donate it to those who would otherwise go hungry.
Ankit Kawatra, a former finance researcher, who quit his job to pursue something which goes beyond money, ideated and brought this concept to reality along with a group of friends. Within a year, Feeding India has managed to sprawl its branches across the country and is soon to become a pan- nation initiative.
Speaking to Tehelka, Kawatra says, “Data shows that India houses the largest number of undernourished and hungry people in the world yet almost 40 percent of our food resources go waste. Feeding India aims to connect these two social challenges — hunger and food waste — and turn them into solutions for each other. In less than 10 months, we have served two lakh needy people in total, completing close to 50,000 complete meals, just in Delhi-ncr.”
“Initially, however, it was difficult to get people to care,” says core team member Srishti Jain. Spreading awareness took a lot of time before people started calling. Presently, Feeding India receives five to six calls every day in Delhi alone, along with a steady call rate in almost all the cities where they have established base which include Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur and Lucknow.
Feeding India functions with the help of volunteers who pick up donations and help channel them while maintaining a quality check throughout the process. In Delhi alone there are more than 150 volunteers spread out in all of the 12 zones the ncr has been divided into.
Kawatra says, “All people need to do is call Feeding India before booking a party.” The enterprise charges on a per-plate basis from individuals, caterers, restaurants or any kind of event organisers in order to cover the travel expense for driving down and collecting the food which roughly come to 400-500.
“Like one hires a decorator or a caterer for an event, we too provide a service: of reducing food waste at the end of your party. At a very little price you feed hundreds of people without going through the hassle of doing it yourself. Although we often encourage people to donate the food to a nearby NGO or settlement themselves,” says Srishti.
She shares a memorable experience, when Feeding India fed 5000 people in a single night. “We got a call from a caterer in Greater Noida at around 11 in the night and were asked to come and collect food for an estimated 500-1000 people. When the volunteers arrived on the scene, they realised that the amount of food being donated would feed way more than what the caterer had estimated. We needed to make a double trip to collect all the food before it fed 5000 people across Delhi NCR,” says Srishti.
Like all initiatives focused selflessly towards a social cause, Feeding India too needs the constant and continuous support of the people around them. Besides looking for food donations, Feeding India also seeks volunteers and funds to continue with the thoughtful cause they have perpetuated. To know more about the initiative visit http://feedingindia.net or call 98711-78810 to donate the leftovers from that party you are planning this weekend.