Food for thought

feeding-indiaThe United Nations recently announced their list of 17 young leaders whose leadership is playing an important role in moving towards UN Sustainability Goals. They were selected from 18,000 applications from 186 countries, and all of them are inspiring. I urge you to spend some time on their projects and stories.

I’d like to highlight one in particular – Ankit Kawatra of Feeding India, a non-profit organization working towards zero hunger in India. According to the UNDP, India – a country that tops the world hunger list with 194 million people going hungry every day – wastes 40% of the food it produces.

I chose Ankit’s story because it demonstrates how small efforts can result in big impact. And it is one we can all relate to, as we are all guilty of food wastage.

His organization collects excess food from social events and distributes it to those who have none. Started in 2014 with just five friends collecting food from parties and taking it to the slums in Delhi, today this movement has more than 2000 volunteers in over 25 cities who have served over 950,000 meals.

Needless to say, food wastage is an issue all over the world. Earlier this year, a similar food donation initiative was launched by Dubai Municipality called ‘Heafz Al Na’amah’, where excess food from large banquets and buffets, whether from hotels, weddings or homes, are packaged and delivered to the less fortunate. They have tied up with four charities and four hotels in the city to facilitate this exchange.

If you live in Dubai and have extra food that can be donated, you can contact the charities partnered in this programme (Emirates Red Crescent, Royati Family Society, Tarahum Charity Foundation, Al Maktoum Foundation) or call Dubai Municipality on 800900.

The UNFAO estimates that 795 million people worldwide suffer from chronic undernourishment. This number is alarming.

So, lets start by thinking twice before we order food at a restaurant, or before we bin our leftovers. Let’s try to be part of the solution, not the problem.


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