3 Friends in India Who Spent Year Bringing Food to the Hungry Win International Grant
Since last October, a group of friends in Coimbatore, India have spent their free time collecting excess food from weddings and hotels, and distributing it amongst locals in need.
The project, founded by a young man named Padmanaban Gopalan, is called No Food Waste, and its goal, as the name implies, is to make sure that there is no unnecessary waste of food, particularly in regions where people often go hungry.
A year later, Gopalan and his partners, identified in the Times of India as Sudhakar and Dinesh, have received some attention from an international organization, a U.S.-based NGO (non-governmental organization) called the Pollination Project which supports individuals “working on human rights, social justice, animal advocacy, environment, arts activism, and women’s rights,” according to the NGO’s founder, Ari Nessel.
Out of 150 applicants, No Food Waste was one of four finalists to win a seed grant of $1,000, with the goal of funding social change. Although the grant is not an enormous sum, the attention that No Food Waste has received as a result of the Pollination Project’s support has been pretty significant. “Earlier, when we were scouting for sponsors, nobody took us seriously,” Gopalan told the Times of India.
Now, the group is receiving offers for assistance and sponsorship, and No Food Waste has plans to expand to the nearby cities of Tiruppur, Salem, Erode, Krishnagiri, and Dharmapuri.
As for its next step, No Food Waste has just recently introduced a mobile app that will help people find locations where they can donate food. On October 16, the group will launch its Zero Hunger Hour campaign on World Food Day in an effort to get as many people as possible involved in feeding the hungry. “We have already written to various international NGOs to make it a global phenomenon and have received positive responses,” Gopalan told the Times.