THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As caterers pile food onto the plates at a function, there must be several guests who inevitably wonder about the fate of the leftovers from the splendid meal. A large portion of food invariably goes to waste. Apart from the guilt it leaves, there is also the challenge of getting rid of leftovers in an environmentally safe manner. Padmanabhan Venugopal found the answer to tackle this.
The 23-year-old engineering graduate from Tamil Nadu started nofoodwaste.in which has had considerable success in various South Indian cities in reaching excess food reach to the needy. It will now do the same here in the capital.
The programme was launched in the city by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on August 24 at Satyan Memorial Hall, located near the Corporation office in Palayam.
Venugopal developed web platform ‘nofoodwaste.in’ which collects excess food generated at functions and distributes it among the hungry.
The group which has already started its work in the city consists of 35 volunteers who attend to the requests of food donation, collect the food and distribute it. The volunteers include college students and members of NGO ‘Changathikuttam’.
The group also has a mobile app ‘No Food Waste’ which gets requests from various quarters including auditoriums, event managers, caterers, associations and general public. The food is collected in a van and supplied to 10 orphanages and six slums in the city, depending on availability. Systematic records are made of each donation.
“In the past two days we have given food to 160 people. We are hoping to get more calls once people come to know about our service,” said Changathikuttam secretary Jiju K Nair.
Precautions are taken before accepting the donations to avoid issues such as food poisoning. “We will check what type of function it is, when the food was cooked, the name and details of the provider, and also do a tasting to check the quality of the food,” said Jiju.