If every home in Bengaluru cooked 5 additional meals, would it ensure that the hungry don’t go to bed on an empty stomach? Here’s a community initiative that’s going to find out.The Facebook group has since been joined by over 1,300 people.Through the FYN initiative, Mahita aims to mobilise the community to cook and share food with the homeless and hungry in Bengaluru. The initiative, which will run from October 12-22, 2015, hopes to rally a minimum of 2,000 people who are willing to cook five extra meals each day. The food will then be distributed to the needy. This would also mean that across the eleven-day period, the initiative will have ensured that 1 lakh people do not go to bed on an empty stomach.While the FYN initiative primarily aims to do its part to ease Bengaluru’s hunger problem, it also hopes to build a sense of community among Bengalureans by giving them an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of those in need, via a ripple effect.The initiative is simple – those interested in participating are required to cook a minimum of five meals which they will have to drop off at a particular point in their neighbourhood.Mahita says that so far, around 900 people have agreed to provide food, and 75 others have signed up as volunteers to distribute the food. She is also looking for more volunteers to identify distribution points, and actually pick up and drop off the food. In addition, she is also looking for coordinators who can help with liaising with the volunteers, verifying the distribution points, etc.
For those interested in being a part of the FYN initiative, here’s how you can get on board.• Drop an SMS to +91 99723 24458 or a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, locality, mobile number, email ID and what you would like to volunteer as.• Those volunteering to cook are expected to cook a minimum of five packs of any rice-based dish like pulav, bisi bele bath, lemon rice, etc.• Packing material will be provided so that quantities are standardised.• The packed food will need to be dropped off at a designated point by 7 pm each day.• From here, volunteers will distribute the food to the needy in various parts of the city.Those people who are neither able to cook nor volunteer their time, but wish to be a part of the FYN initiative, can do so by donating money or by spreading the word. The funds collected will be used to purchase packing material, hire transportation for the pickup and distribution of food, etc. Mahita adds that if there is any excess money remaining after October 22, she will continue to distribute food to the needy till the money runs out.In addition to mobilising the community to cook, Mahita is also currently working with volunteers to identify areas where the food can be distributed. Most of the food that is collected from a particular neighbourhood, will be distributed in that neighbourhood itself.
She also adds that while most of the food will be distributed to people on the streets, homes for the destitute, beggars’ homes, slums etc. are also being looked at. She mentions how one of the volunteers suggested a colony of Metro workers in South Bengaluru as one of the distribution points.Mahita says that as far as possible, people are being handed eco-friendly material to pack the food.In addition, at the time of distributing the food, volunteers are being asked to inform the people who come to collect the food to dispose of the waste responsibly. Mahita hopes that educating them about this aspect will also sensitise them about proper waste management in the long run.She also expects that the number of people who come to collect the food is bound to increase over the ten days, as word gets out. Should this happen, she is in talks with caterers and darshinis who can help supply the additional food at subsidised costs.
(Text Source: The better india )