World Food Day 2017: Join these NGOs in their efforts towards #ZeroHunger
The right to food is one of the human rights, yet crores of people sleep hungry and even die of hunger every year. Research states that with over a fifth (21%) of its children acutely malnourished – India ranks 100 out of 119 countries in the 2017 Global Hunger Index (GHI), down three places from 97 last year.
On World Food Day, celebrated on October 16, it therefore becomes imperative to emphasise the need to ensure food security, and nutritious diets for everyone. Here’s looking at various organisations that have relentlessly made efforts to overcome the issue of hunger. And with a few days to go for Diwali, there couldn’t have been a better time to donate and bring some cheer to these lives.
“A lot of food is wasted during the festive season, so Feeding India works to mobilise food from donors to recipients. All food can be donated, as food is edible for a couple of hours. One just has to call on our helpline numbers, and the volunteers will collect the food. For World Food Day, we have introduced 60 magic trucks to deliver donated food. This World Food Week, #FightFoodWaste and help us set up Magic Wheels in your city,” says Arindam Kalra, President, Feeding India, an NGO that aims to work at solving the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the country. The team donates food received from individuals, weddings, restaurants, and offices to the needy.
“Nothing fills a stomach more than a roti (whole wheat bread),” says Sudhir Behrani, founder, Roti Bank, an organisation that has 63 branches across the country. And this World Food Day, they are urging everyone to contribute to their drive to end hunger. “Diwali being the festival of sweets, nothing better than boxes of cakes, sandwiches, juice packets, and chocolates, to bring a smile to faces, this festive season. We accept roti packets wrapped in foil paper, accompanied by dry vegetables. Leftovers and old food items aren’t accepted. Those interested can go to our Facebook page and connect with us for a distribution drive in their area, whenever they want to. We are also associated with restaurants and schools that donate surplus food to us,” he adds.
Another group fighting hunger and food wastage is Robin Hood Army, which works round the clock to get surplus food from restaurants to those in need. The members of the organisation comprise working professionals, students, and housewives, who get together on Sunday evenings and pool food collected from partner restaurants.
“People can choose to donate just about any food item. The most popular during festivals are usually mithai (sweets) and dry fruits, so if you do have tons of mithai boxes or food for over twenty people left over (in perfectly edible condition) from your Diwali party, just drop us a message on our Facebook page with your address, and we’ll have someone collect and distribute it,” says Aarushi Batra, co-founder, Robin Hood Army. One can also join them on their Sunday drives by messaging them on Facebook. These drives are not just limited to distributing meals – members spend time at clusters and interact with kids and families.
You can volunteer, too. “We believe that it’s more fulfilling when the donors join us for our drives and distribute the items themselves,” she adds.
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