There are several groups and organisations in India who collect leftover food from social gatherings and places like schools, colleges and corporates and distribute them to the needy.
One such non-profit organisation is ‘Feeding India’ feeding thousands across 82 cities in the country. The organisation has served 30 million meals since their inception five years ago.
In a laudable move, the organisation has partnered with Chhatrapati Shivaji Domestic Airport in Mumbai and Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport to distribute their leftover food among the poor.
For decades, tonnes of cooked food from airport lounges and restaurants have been going into the bin. In western countries, it’s the standard norm for airlines and airports to donate excess food. But there has been a lack of awareness in India. It’s a proud day for India to know that 100 per cent of all food in these airports is utilised and is not wasted, Ankit tells The Better India (TBI).
Delhi-based Ankit Kawatra formed Feeding India when he observed the amount of food being wasted in a fancy wedding. He felt saddened at the thought of tons food getting wasted when there are hungry on the streets of his city. The enterprising man started distributing the excess food to the underprivileged thereby solving two problems: hunger and food wastage.
You can read more about the organisation here.
The NGO has collaborated with Travel Food Services (TFS), a company that runs 70 restaurants, lounges and food and beverage outlets. An Indian restaurant aggregator and food delivery startup helps the NGO run the logistics for this initiative.
The leftover food in the airport premises, especially in lounges, cannot be ethically served to the flyers the next day as per the policies of airport authorities. Here, we step in, collect the leftover food or unsold food items and distribute it among the needy, informs Ankit.
The NGO also conducts strict quality check of the collected food before they pack it up for distribution. In Mumbai, the NGO donates all the excess food to a welfare society in Goregaon and the food collected in Bengaluru is given to children in government schools with no access to mid-day meals.
Before we pick up the food, we ensure it is fresh and unused. There are certain quality checks like pH value that we take into consideration. Also, the beneficiary must be located within a radius of 5km so that transportation time is shorter and the food is consumed within 90 minutes, Ankit informed The Times of India.
On an average, one food packet from each airport suffices for 2 to 3 people. With Feeding India distributing more than 20 packets of food from each airport, they are able to reach a hundred plus people daily.
While we have started collecting excess food from airports, there are other avenues where a lot of food waste is prevalent including airlines and the Indian railways. It is about time that we awaken to start saving food and water of our planet, signs off Ankit.
The organisation hopes to collaborate with more airports across India to make a bigger impact.
All the images are sourced from Feeding India
You can get in touch with Feeding India here.
Picture Courtesy: Pixabay
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)