On the occasion of Tasting India: Farm to Table Symposium, held on 13 December, 2017 in New Delhi the FSSAI introduced the ‘Save Food, Share Food, Share Joy’ initiative. The initiative has been introduced with the aim of promoting the idea of food sharing among citizens and food businesses. This initiative is also aimed at forming a coalition of food collection partners who fight the issue of hunger in the needy and in this way prevent food loss and food waste in the country.
At the programme, food collection agencies partnering with FSSAI on the initiative showcased their respective case studies. During the discussion on ‘Turning Food Sharing into a National Movement,’ Pawan Agarwal, CEO FSSAI highlighted that food waste and food loss is a global challenge but in India food loss and food waste is quite significant. He brought to notice that while there are a number of food collecting agencies in India, the need of the hour is to integrate all food recovery agencies into a cohesive whole so as to combat food waste more effectively. He stated that “through this initiative several food collection agencies will be able to work uniformly towards one common goal of saving food and distributing it to the needy so that India is able to eradicate hunger problems as the initiative is an effort to promote food sharing and recovery of surplus food.
For integrating the entire process the FSSAI has created a platform called the ‘Indian Food Sharing Alliance’ (IFSA) which is a network of food collection agencies. It will also bring together citizens, food businesses, corporates, civil society organisations, volunteers and government and local bodies so as to enable coordination among them to prevent food loss and wastage throughout the supply chain, from production to final household consumption.
FSSAI has also unveiled two key campaigns called
- Street food vendor has a heart
- I too have a heart
‘Street food vendor has a heart’ campaign is one where the IFSA will engage with street vendors to encourage them to donate every 10th meal to the needy. On the other hand “I too have a heart’ campaign will focus on regular donation of food by food businesses and citizens. This campaign will be managed through the IFSA online platform.
The web based platform will also help to identify street vendors and have mapping of the recovery agencies. It will also be used for volunteer registration and identification of hunger spots so as to cater to mass beneficiaries. The campaign will kick-start in Delhi during the ‘National Street Food Festival’ which will be held from January 2018.
The IFSA portal will enable
- donors to track data, information and the status of donated food through a personal login
- volunteers from across the country to register on the platform
- citizens, food businesses and recovery agencies to get guidance on prevention of food loss and food waste
- safe recovery of surplus foods
In India, there are a number of food collection agencies that work on their own in various cities. The names of some of the volunteer food collection agencies are No Food Waste, Feeding India, Indian Food Banking Network, Roti Bank, Annakshetra, Giveaway India, Mera Parivar, Robin Hood Army, etc. There are all together about 12 organisations that help to feed over one lakh people on a daily basis in more than 70 cities across the country. An alliance of these food sharing models and the implementation of a uniform operation will ensure pan India coverage.
In creating a network of entities across sectors in India and leveraging the power of technology, FSSAI’s aim is to create ease of communication among all the stakeholders so that everybody can take one step closer towards reducing food wastage in a uniform and planned direction.