Many of us, who eat out regularly, are aware of the daily problem of massive food wastage in restaurants. Typically, restaurants over prepare certain items that are on the specials menu and other popular dishes so that their customers are well-taken care of. However, these joints are always in a fix as to what to do with the leftover.
Luckily, there are many people coming up with new ways to assist restaurants and grocery stores in dealing with their extra or leftover food. The use of modern day technology has made it easy to connect and coordinate, making excess food from one corner accessible to the needy at another corner.
Of course, making food available for the needy, on a wider scale needs funding as it costs the restaurants and the food stores a substantial amount to box the food and make it viable for transport. Thus, it is not affordable for an individual to do this on a regular basis, and as a result many such programs come to a halt.
Here are examples of how crowdfunding has turned out to be an innovative way to overcome this issue.
One such endeavour has been made by a not-for-profit social enterprise, ‘Feeding India’, which seeks a resolution to two main problems of hunger and food wastage. As a part of its Magic Truck initiative, the organization collects the leftover food from corporate offices and restaurants and uses it to provide meals to the poor.
The Magic Truck provides meals consisting of one dal, 1 vegetable along with chappatis, rice and some dessert to the poor. Through their crowdfunding page on Ketto, they raised ₹2,14,014 ($3,331.09) through 104 supporters by which they provide nutritious meals to 1000 people, twice a day.
Another chain of food outlets working in this direction is Janta Meals. It is located in slum areas with an aim to provide hygienically prepared wholesome food at affordable rates. The service involves community-based franchises that cater to urban migrant labourers including cycle rickshaw drivers, sweepers, mechanics, vegetable sellers etc.
Janta Meals also promote entrepreneurship as these individual franchises are operated by micro-entrepreneurs, who are given an initial loan to help setup their food outlet. They are also provided with subsidized food that they then sell to the customers. Currently, there are 23 such outlets in Gurgaon, serving meals to around 4,500 people every day. They have raised ₹2,10,200 ($3,271.72) with the support of 51 supporters via their crowdfunding page on Ketto.
Food For The Needy
There is yet another organisation in the name of Uday Foundation which works to feed the needy. This Foundation provides food to underprivileged patients and their families or caretakers at government hospitals who cannot afford both medical bills and food. It also provides good, nutritious food to children from poor families who come to Delhi for longer treatment.
Uday Foundation so far managed to raise ₹1,71,853 ($2,698.09) with the help of 64 supporters via their crowdfunding page on Ketto for this noble cause.
Besides the structured organisations, some individuals as well use crowdfunding as a platform for their big and small fundraisers in the direction of food distribution. Samay Bansal from Ludhiana raised ₹62,076 through Ketto to provide free food and rose milk, popularly known as “chabeel”, to passersby in the scorching weather.
To sum it up, everyday millions of pounds of restaurant food goes to waste and many people are doing their bit to change it. Go ahead and donate to support NGOs and individuals who are ensuring people don’t go to their beds hungry.