Delhi food bank to check wastage

New Delhi: To check food wastage at wedding receptions, parties and other social functions, Delhi government is working on an ambitious proposal to set up food banks -- having cooked as well as uncooked food -- for distribution among the hungry and poor people in the city.

The scheme, to be introduced as a pilot project, 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 proposal to set up food bank in the city was first mooted by technocrat Sam Pitroda during a meeting he had with Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in June this year.

The basic idea of setting up food bank is to ensure that excess food at various social functions does not go waste.

Pitroda is a member of the board of World Food Bank which supports a chain of NGOs in 21 countries which in total feeds around 41 million people every year.

As per the proposal, the food banks in the city will be run by NGOs and people will be asked to donate food to these food banks voluntarily to feed the hungry.

Pitroda's proposal was enthusiastically agreed to by the city government as Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, following a lavish wedding of a son of a city politician, expressed concern over wastage of food at marriage receptions and asked Congressmen to hold such functions in a "simple" manner.

"Everyday a lot of food goes waste at various parties, functions and marriage receptions.

"We can directly collect the excess food and distribute it among the hungry people. This is the broad idea," a top official said.