SAMBALPUR: The first food ATM, inaugurated at Kuchinda on Wednesday, has evoked favourable responses from the public.Named ‘Trupti’, the ATM has been launched with an objective to facilitate a source through which the poor and underprivileged can get food free of cost. Moreover, it would enable utilisation of leftover food at social gatherings and households which can be donated at this point.
The initiative is the brainchild of Sambalpur Collector Shubham Saxena. The ATM has been set up in one of the bustling areas near bus stand in Kuchinda town. For now, two refrigerators of 400 litre capacity each have been installed inside the kiosk. The ATM remains open from 7 am till late in the night. Currently, only dry and packed food is available at the ATM.
Executive Officer Jitendra Mahapatra said, “The NAC authorities are looking after the maintenance of the food ATM. At least three persons have been deployed at the kiosk for collection and distribution of food. While NAC has provided dry food items like cakes, breads and biscuits, some individuals have contributed food packets and fruits to the ATM in the last two days. Even a few eateries have also donated dry food items.”
He informed that nearly 8-12 people have donated food to the ATM in the last two days. The NAC has been suggested by some people to open a joint bank account for the public so that they can contribute individually for maintaining a stock of food at the kiosk.
Currently, liquid or cooked food is not being accepted at the ATM. Cooked food cannot be stored for a longer time and cannot be distributed without proper quality check.Mahapatra said a meeting will be held next week involving various stakeholders to discuss long-term maintenance of the kiosk, collection and distribution of cooked food, provision of volunteers, security of the ATM and other aspects.
“Our aim is to make the food ATM a citizen-centric initiative and we would try to ensure involvement of more number of residents in this project,” the official said.Kuchinda NAC is a small area with a population of roughly 16,000. Majority of the residents are already aware about the initiative and are ready to extend support to it, he added.Official sources said another food ATM will be opened in Sambalpur city next week.