x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

A formidable recipe for beating hunger

The 'Share Your Dabba' campaign in Mumbai shows how hunger can be beaten by simply reducing wastage of food.

We often talk about the need to increase food production to reduce hunger. But a more effective recipe perhaps is to minimise food wastage. The "Share Your Dabba" campaign, launched in Mumbai, shows how remarkable such a simple and inexpensive formula can be.

As The National reported this week, the initiative is a collaboration between Happy Life Welfare Society, a charity, and Mumbai's legendary Dabbawalas, who deliver about 120 tonnes of food to about 200,000 workers across the city each day with remarkable accuracy.

Food wastage is unavoidable. But that is where charity steps in. All users have to do is mark their boxes with a "share" sticker if there is food left and the charity uses the Dabbawala network to take some of that excess food - an astonishing 16 tonnes of it - to the city's street children.

So far only a small number of children - around 80 - are fed every day in Mumbai, a city where an estimated 200,000 kids have no access to nutrition.

Yet it is a significant initiative that needs to be spread throughout the city and across India, home to about 230 million hungry people. Sometimes the easiest way to reduce hunger is to use the food already cooked.