“I felt concern for the homeless and needy since I was young. My parents would always tell me to do good as it would come back to us in some form or the other. In 2015, when I came across an article on The Logical Indian about the food bank in Chennai, I was really intrigued by the concept. That’s when I thought to start something similar, here in Hyderabad. When I shared this idea with my close friends, they readily agreed to support the good cause. Fortunately, even all our families supported the cause.
There are many people who find it difficult to manage even one meal a day. We strongly felt no one should sleep on an empty stomach. In fact, for our first food drive, my mother cooked food to fill about 40 food packets. We distributed these packets to the homeless. Soon, we launched a Facebook page and group called Food Bank Hyderabad. I started posting the details of our food drives and within no time it went viral. After the first five food drives, I got calls from people across the city, wanting to contribute food. Soon, many volunteers came to join hands with us and as a result, we have over 100 volunteers in Hyderabad alone today. We conduct food drives outside Government hospitals, orphanages and on roads.
Earlier, we used to distribute around 50-70 food packets every week but today we conduct food drives five days a week and also on special occasions like festivals and National holidays. We have had requests of people from within the country and outside, to accept monetary donations, but that is against our policy. Instead, we ask them to buy groceries through online platforms and have them delivered at our cooking centres.
We also get many calls from restaurants, corporate companies and marriage halls to collect their leftover edible food. Our volunteer pool includes working men and women, housewives, students and kids – people from every walk of life. On the occasion of World Food Day, it is necessary we realise how lucky we are and consciously decide not to waste food. Only if we come together will our Hyderabad be Hunger-Free!”
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