World hunger is a pressing global problem with approximately 98% of hungry people living in developing countries. Here’s a shameful fact: According to the Global Hunger Index Report released in October 2013, India is home to a quarter of the world’s hungry. About 210 million people go hungry in India. Despite the increase in agriculture produce around the world, which is sufficient to provide the minimum calories needed per person per day need to feed everyone, the number of people going hungry has not shown any significant improvement in the last decade. The problem is a complex one involving many economic and political factors but indubitably, poverty and wastage of food are the major causes of hunger.
On one hand, we see large amounts of food being wasted everyday in public eateries, canteens, wedding parties, buffets, restaurants etc and on the other hand, countless people are unable to make both ends meet. One day Mustafa Hashmi witnessed this phenomenon very closely. “I went to buy a sandwich once and saw this man trying to drink water from drainage nearby. It was a very disturbing sight. As I spoke to him, I came to know that he was hungry from last 14 days and was unable to even fetch himself a clean glass of water,” recalls Hashmi.
Hashmi, currently a final year engineering student at VIF College of Engineering and Technology (JNTU) , decided to do something about this problem. He founded GlowTide, a non-profit that picks up food that was getting wasted every day and delivering the food to the city’s hungry. GlowTide’s modus operandi is that of collecting leftover food from restaurants, function halls and corporate canteens, packs and distributing it among the hungry and homeless. They have been active for the last 6 months and are presently able to deliver a meal a day to between 125-150 people every day. Hashmi has been joined in his efforts by 6 other individuals.
As the team grew, things became easier but finding restaurants, which can deliver food on a daily basis, monitoring transportation of food and finding volunteers to help in distributing food are the main difficulties for GlowTide. They use personal vehicles and have hired an auto rickshaw for transportation and are looking for more volunteers to reach out to larger number of restaurants in the city. Collaborating with NGOs who provide shelter to homeless, contacting more corporate canteens & restaurants and starting a ‘one coin donation’ campaign is on the immediate to-do list of GlowTide to help expand their operation. Hashmi says, “We see ourselves capable enough to serve around 20,000 people monthly with a day’s meal in next 3 years.”
If you want to partner with GlowTide for supplying left over food from your home, organization, event or restaurant, write to email@example.com. (Currently they are present only in Hyderabad.)
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