Published: 03rd April 2020
This Coimbatore food start-up is cooking food at community kitchens, closed restaurants to feed the hungry
No Food Waste is a surplus food management startup which was established in the year 2014. They continue to feed the needy by setting up kitchens due to unavailability of surplus food
To help the migrant labourers and the homeless, many good samaritans have come out of their closet to lend a helping hand. But how far can this help go during the lockdown? To bridge this gap, surplus food management start-up No Food Waste along with the Coimbatore City Corporation initiated the Coimbatore Food Emergency team.
The distribution vehicle
Since most marriage functions and other celebrations have been called off, where does this team manage to get surplus food? Well, they don't wait for surplus food, instead have set up kitchens at different locations of the city. "We have set centralised kitchens in different locations of the city. The concept has now been adopted at Chennai and Hyderabad as well. We are planning to expand the same plan at Dharmapuri, Salem and so on," shares Dinesh Manickam, co-founder of No Food Waste.
Now, what is the role of the public here? "Many people have contributed raw materials and other groceries to us. The ones who are unable to contribute gave us donations whereas the caterers and hotels have given us access to their kitchens during these tough times," informs Dinesh. "People have understood the meaning of selflessness and are rushing in to help their fellow beings," he adds.
The volunteers are advised to use hand sanitisers once in 20 minutes
But who are these fellow beings? "We usually reached out to homeless people, sanitary workers, and so on. Migrant workers never needed our help, as they made a living and means of their own. But times have changed. We need to help them too. But, most of us don't know where they are as they keep moving from one location to the other. To overcome this hurdle, we opened our helpline number. People in need of food can also contact us through the helpline," he informs. The helpline was generally used for people to notify the location and other details about their surplus food.
Though the team actively volunteers, they strictly follow the norms set by the government. "Only two people per vehicle go to the collection and delivery point. They are advised to use hand sanitisers once in 20 minutes. Also, the food is packed and while distribution, we ensure that social distancing is strictly followed by the beneficiaries," he concludes.