Food wastage is a shame in any country, but more so in India, with its high rates of food poverty. To counter this, the campaign Plateful of Hope has been started by students of Kamala Nehru College, Delhi University. The students have tied up with NGOs to collect surplus food and are also raising awareness through social media. Besides hospitality establishments, which usually have plenty of surplus food to give away, food donation is also welcome from individuals. The collected food is then distributed to the needy by the students; they do this outside the Radha Krishna temple in Kailash Colony, south Delhi, every night.
Plateful of Hope was started by seven second-year students of journalism from Kamala Nehru College as part of their college social media assignment. It raises awareness on the need to stop food wastage, and also encourages people to contribute food, thus ending the how-to-beat-hunger game for the dirt poor.
“The initial idea was to begin a campaign for the [college] assignment. We had thought of several issues, but the global problem of hunger was something that troubled us all”
The campaigners hope to expand the scope of their work as the donations increase. Founding members Surabhi Prasoon, Arushi Yadav, Ishita Mishra, Swati Dhamija, Anshika Yadav, Aditi Gupta and Somya Jaiswal share the same thought, and feel that no one should go to sleep with an empty stomach at the end of the day.
“The initial idea was to begin a campaign for the [college] assignment. We had thought of several issues, but the global problem of hunger was something that troubled us all,” says Surabhi. “Every day, on the way to college and back, we see small kids begging for food at the traffic signal and near the Metro station. It’s painful to know that while we waste so much at restaurants and homes, there are people who sleep hungry.”
For now, the campaign’s only mode for spreading the word is social media, but the students wish to collaborate with more NGOs who work for the same cause. “Apart from spreading awareness, with the little resources that we have, we collect fresh surplus food from students and paying guests and distribute it among the poor in Kailash Colony. We aim to expand our reach as fast as possible and inspire more people to stop food wastage,” says Ishita Mishra.