#AceFoodNews says “Hunger and Malnutrition” remain critical issues in contemporary India, despite key economic advancements. However, on National Education Day (Nov 11), an event saw the launch of the first ever Gurgaon Food Bank, marked a successful feat – a step in the right direction – in this seemingly insurmountable challenge.
Delhi Food Bank (DFB) and its partners, building upon its critical success – in the presence of key dignitaries and supporters – helped to launch the Food Bank in Gurgaon, Haryana. The occasion also marked the end of its intensive Food-A-Thon 2013 campaign by honouring key organizations and individuals for their contribution at an awards ceremony.
There are vast numbers of transitionary populations in places such as Gurgaon in search of better economic opportunities, who as well as other vulnerable populations, face serious nutrition challenges that have a plethora of negative impacts on their lives.
Given this, the establishment of the Gurgaon Food Bank, run by Aidmatrix and supported by Cargill and critical founding partners including DLF Foundation, highlights that food banking is a viable model for contributing towards the nutrition and hunger challenge. In the context of this challenge, the private sector occupies a unique position through the power of participation. One such corporate giant that has made a significant impact on the Delhi Food Bank is the DLF Foundation, whose provision of critical infrastructural support has enabled food banking to become realised in India. They share the vision for the national implementation of food banking through their keen sense of corporate social responsibility. Indeed, by extending the Food Bank from Delhi to Gurgaon – the message is clear, that food banking can go to all corners of India and eventually reach to those that need it the most.
The Food-A-Thon 2013 brought together over 65 organizations – some 70,000 individuals – in a ground-breaking on-line and grass-roots campaign to serve the undernourished and hungry vulnerable population in Delhi and NCR. It called upon private, public and NGO partners to join hands and take concrete action to make a much-needed contribution to feeding programs for vulnerable populations in and around the capital area.
“Over a 150% increase in the enthusiastic participation of the Food-A-Thon this year is truly remarkable,” said Kuldip Nar, Managing Director, Aidmatrix Foundation, India. “And it is precisely this engagement from individuals and companies that helps sustain nutritional feeding to those who need it the most.”
The occasion was graced by a number of key dignitaries, namely Shri. Randeep Singh Surjewala, Cabinet Minister of Haryana, Mr. Sam Pitroda, Chairman, Advisory Board, India FoodBanking Network and Advisor to Prime Minister of India for Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation and Shri. Sukhbir Kataria, Minister for Sports, Agriculture and Cooperation, Government of Haryana together with Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill
“If we don’t feed people nutritious food, we will not have enough healthy people to
join the workforce, therefore the nutritional challenge in India is a key concern for the
private sector,” pointed out Sam Pitroda during his address.
Shri Randeep Singh Surjewala, the chief guest of the event, highlighted, “We require a
voluntary approach on a sustained and cumulative basis to make Food Banking work. Food
Banking is the way forward to help our society become a better one.”
Within the maximum food collected by a corporate and a school, MTS (Mobile Telecom
Service), India and Sanskriti school came out on top, respectively. Whilst Chef Aditya
Bal, received the Best Individual Volunteer of the Year award, Interglobe Enterprises
Limited won the Best Corporate Volunteering Initiative award. Finally, MTS also scooped
the award for Best Communications and the Best Group award went to the Harley Owners Group
who are keen supporters of DFB’s work.
“It is the shared responsibility of all of us, not just government to help those that
need nourishing food the most,” highlighted Siraj Choudhry of Cargill.
About Delhi Food Bank
The food banking system is focused towards providing a nutritional wholesome plate. Delhi Food Bank (DFB), operationalized by Aidmatrix Foundation, was established as the first ever Food Bank in India, in June 2012. The DFB program, augments and compliments ongoing government interventions for Food Security by galvanising massive participation from the corporate, NGOs, professional, as well as educational sector within and across India.
Delhi Food Bank is supported by a number of organizations that are making a real difference in the lives of many with their generous support, such as the DLF Foundation, Reliance Foundation, Cargill, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).
It acts as a hub to aggregate food donated from corporations, schools and individuals and takes it from these key stakeholders directly to those that need it the most.
The Food Bank services over 32 feeding center locations, where partners distribute the collected food in Delhi NCR: at schools, shelter homes for women, night shelters, orphanages, and via various partners caring for migrant populations and underprivileged populations in general.
The mission of the Food Bank is clear, that all should have access to at least one nutritious meal a day. Thus so far, over 45 lakh vulnerable populations have been served, with the help of over 113 corporations and 1,20,000 individuals since June 2012.
GURGAON, India, November 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ —
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