The imbalance is stark. On one side is a chunk of population desperate for a morsel and on the other is a lot of food going waste either at homes, eateries and functions. Can this gap be bridged and the food that otherwise go waste be made available for the hungry stomachs? That’s what the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has attempted with its recent initiative ‘Feed The Need’ which has refrigerators installed where one can go and deposit food and those in need of food can pick it up.
“A little analysis of the situation and some innovative ideation have helped in making the concept popular and we are receiving tremendous response for it,” GHMC Serilingampally Zone Commissioner, D Harichandana tells Mythreya Kodakandla.
How did ‘Feed The Need’ start?
Ans. Most of the garbage generated in the city is wet waste or food waste that comes from homes, hotels and others. We did a deeper analysis and realised that a lot of food which is wasted is cooked on the same day or the preceding day and is parallel 20 per cent of the population starving every day. Then we realised, why don’t we match the need. I just want to clarify it is ‘feed the need’, not the needy. Anyone can be hungry, hunger is the need.
How is the response so far?
Ans. Right now, centres are receiving a tremendous response. Within 5 minutes, the food is taken out by somebody. Students, cab drivers, bus drivers and beggars are making use of these fridges. We have allotted it to Apple Home NGO and they have employed a person to man these fridges.
What are the plans to scale up the initiative?
Ans. We want to put around 100 fridges across the city in different locations. We are going slow and started with 10, we want to test out the response of people and to see what kind of food is going in and who the beneficiaries are. Once we have a network of 100 fridges, we want to start mobile fridges to collect food from places such as hotels, function halls and take it to slums.
What are the upcoming projects?
Ans. We are working on a Senior Citizen Park in Mayuri Nagar and plans are afoot for an exclusive park for children with special needs where they can learn and interact more. Next thing is a Recycle Park which is my pet theme. Hyderabad is becoming the recycle capital of India. We could do a lot of recycling and show people how they can have a sustainable city.