NMMC starts food bank for homeless and needy in Navi Mumbai
On the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) started a food bank with a Vashi-based NGO at Sector 9A behind Vashi depot by providing a fridge that will be meant for the people to donate their leftovers.
The NGO will test the quality of the leftovers, repack them and provide them to the needy and homeless.
Deputy municipal commissioner, Babasaheb Rajale, said, “The NGO, ‘Lets Celebrate Fitness’ (LCF) has been providing food to the needy people throughout the pandemic. They used to cook and provide. So, when we came to know, we suggested that instead of cooking, they can look at getting the leftover food as well. The city generates a lot of food waste from banquet halls, restaurants and parties. Instead of throwing them, they could be reused for the needy. So, NMMC provided a refrigerator that will be used to store the food that people donate. The NGO will continue to distribute the food by doing a quality check and then making packets for individuals.”
Richa Sameet from LCF said, “The initiative was inaugurated on Wednesday and on Thursday we had donated food for almost 150 people. The donation can be done from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and from 7pm to 9pm. We have informed about the initiative to all restaurants and banquet halls in the vicinity and have asked them to donate the leftover food. We had been distributing food packets to around 300 people daily earlier and with the help of the donations, we are able to reach half of the target.”
They also have an initiative to encourage people to give food to beggars instead of money. “We sell food coupons that people can buy and give them to the homeless and the needy. They can come here with the coupons and we will provide them dosas that we make here. Every time the needy come here with the coupon, we encourage them to demand food coupons from people instead of money and encourage children to take up education instead of begging,” Sameet said.
Rajale appealed that every resident of Navi Mumbai, who has leftovers, be it for one person or 10 persons, should not throw it and instead donate to the ‘food bank’ and reach out to the needy.