New Delhi: Delhi will soon be the first city in the country to set up food banks through which excess cooked and uncooked food will be collected from wedding receptions, parties, social functions, hotels and individual donors for distribution among hungry and poor people.
The scheme is being modelled on the lines of food banks in Chicago in the US where community groups run them to feed hungry people by collecting excess food from hotels, wedding reception and through voluntary donations from individuals as well as various organisations.
The launch of the first ever India Food Banking Network (IFBN) was announced jointly by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Sam Pitorda, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations.
Pitroda said the infrastructure for collecting and distributing the food is being developed in cooperation with Delhi Government, DLF Foundation, Reliance Foundation and Cargill India.
He said donors of food can send an sms to 58888 following which IFBN volunteers will collect the food items while those who need food can also send sms to same number.
Complementing the IFBN for the "unique" project, Dikshit said her government will sign an MoU with India Food Banking Network to facilitate functioning of Delhi Food Bank.
Dikshit said an efficient food storage and distribution system was necessary as hundreds of tonnes of food articles rot in India due to lack of storage.
The Food Bank project has been launched after a comprehensive three-year feasibility and site analysis in Delhi under the leadership of Pitroda.
The IFBN is in the process of setting up a network with community groups, NGOs and government for distributing food to the hungry people.
An IFBN official said a network of cold storage and other required infrastructure is being set up for the project.