CHENNAI: Swiggy, the online food delivery app, witnesses nearly 1,500 cancelled food orders every month. All of this when the food has already been prepared by the respective eateries. According to several studies, as many as 3,000 children die in India daily due to diet-related illness. More than 190 million people go to bed hungry at night in the country. India has been facing and fighting the crisis of hunger since times immemorial.
In a move to address the issue of food waste, No Food Waste NGO has recently started picking up these cancelled orders and distributing them to the needy. Explaining what used to happen to the cancelled food orders, R Arun Kumar, coordinator, No Food Waste-Chennai chapter said, “Once the order is placed, if customers change their mind and cancel or if they do not pick up the phone call of the delivery agent, the food goes to Swiggy hubs which are located in different areas including Anna Nagar, T Nagar, Valasaravakkam, OMR and Urapakkam. Mostly, the riders get the food. One order may contain food for two, four or even ten people and at least 1,500 orders are cancelled every month.”
From March 31, when No Food Waste came into the scene, Swiggy has been updating them on the number of food packets in each hub. The volunteers of the NGO pick up the food and distribute it for poor people on the road or the aged. In April, 3,000 orders were collected and the following month, 1,250 orders.
“It can be of immense help if all the restaurants start giving out the food that is wasted, whether in the kitchen or on the table, if untouched,” said Arun. The NGO in collaboration with Swiggy is now planning on extending this service to seven other districts in Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore, Tiruchy, Salem, Erode, Dharmapuri, Tirupur, Tirunelveli, and Tadepalligudem in Andhra Pradesh.