Hyderabad: The ‘Food Bank’ initiative of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) appears to have struck a chord with people in Hyderabad. The initiative which was launched this February has now managed to reach out and provide free food to nearly one lakh people.
Under its ‘Feed the Need’ scheme, GHMC in association with couple of NGOs including Apple Home for Orphans Children, set up the first food bank (refrigerator) at Shilparamam, Madhapur with an aim to make good use of surplus food at functions, hotels and other places.
People, who wish to donate food can handover it to the personnel manning the refrigerators in their vicinity. The collected food is stored in the refrigerators so that the poor, who cannot afford a meal, can avail the facility. The 530-litre capacity refrigerators are operated round the clock and a person is deployed to operate and clean the appliance daily.
The idea is to serve the surplus food that generally end up being waste in hotels or in different function halls to feed the needy and hungry. Besides, it will also help in ensuring the food does not get spoiled, said GHMC Serilingampally Zonal Commissioner D Harichandana.
At present, the refrigerators are being operated at 22 centres, including hospitals, railway stations and other public places. The municipal corporation plans to add eight more refrigerators by this weekend.
Among the centres, the ones at Niloufer, NIMS, and Basavatarakam Cancer hospitals are accumulating more food. Generally, about 40 persons relish quality food at one centre a day, she said.
Apart from operating the refrigerators, all care is taken to ensure the food offered is safe and hygienic. The operators deployed at the food banks check the food parcels and remove the stale ones, if any. So far, there have not been any such complaints, she informed.
Impressed with the municipal corporation’s novel initiative, a few individuals, including Animal Husbandry Minister T Srinivas Yadav donated five refrigerators while a kitty group at LB Nagar and few others also donated the appliances.
The municipal is looking for more donors to operate the food banks at as many places across the city to ensure more hungry people get benefited. Those willing to contribute food can also approach the municipal corporation.
GHMC is planning to launch a mobile food bank unit to collect food from different areas and distribute the same in slums. This apart, a mobile app is also being planned for the convenience of people to track the location of the food banks, she added.
Next in the offing – free sanitary napkin dispensing units
Buoyed by the success of ‘Feed the Need’ initiative, the municipal corporation is also planning to launch free sanitary napkin dispensing and disposal units shortly. These will be placed at girls’ high schools, maternity hospitals, women’s colleges and other places. Each unit will dispense about 100 napkins a day and the plan is to launch it from the Girls’ High School in Kondapur, said Harichandana.