www.akshaypatra.org

A couple of tweets by SaikatD about a child and a brand led to the usual outrage as well as ‘Tweet Tangents’. You can read some of the Tweets here

As you can read, everyone is on a different tangent – brand not doing enough, children hungry, do something, why activism, should children eat sweets when they do not get food etc.

Facts:

1) Way back in the 1990s there was a collaborative effort by the star hotels (pre fine dine restaurant era) to distribute left over food, which was nicely packed & would be collected once a day & distributed by NGOs. Worked for a while & then collapsed.
a) Star properties could not guarantee a fixed amount of food every day
b) Packing it properly led to selling of the packets – taxi, railway stations etc
c) Collecting became a problem – cost amongst other.
d) Due to heat, rain food sometimes turned bad by the next day and led to problems, that
Star hotels did not want.
e) Timing of the food collection, distribution ran into constant problems.

2) QSR/Brands came into India, storage became modern, processes & policies became more stringent given the best practices. With use of technology wastage got reduced.

3) In parallel different restaurants, caterers and people continued in their own way.
a) Local restaurants have their own people who consume the food, their relatives & even
people who stay around.
b) Caterers mostly follow the same principle.

4) There is a mail/sms circulating about Childline nos 1098 to call however they are very clear that they do not pickup or distribute food. Similarly, a lot of NGOs/Churches/Temples have discontinued accepting leftovers.

5) Not to forget that the street children & people also have their own ‘Self Respect’ and mostly avoid ‘leftovers’

Given all this, there is a huge potential to channelise the clean “left overs” or extras as they may be termed. And this may be possible on a small local catchment level, however to do it even on a city level requires a fair amount of logistics and funding along with the most important “Time Commitment” which is where, the topic becomes an #OOTD and whimpers off.

And to answer my young friend who raised the question of Food vs Sweet – When hunger strikes, it does not care.

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Written by AD
ex waiter, angadia, travel agent, dotcomer, dukaandaar, marketeer, people watcher. appreciates single malt, food, friends