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Mansi Khandelwal

IWB Blogger

Bangalore Residents Unite To Feed The Hungry Through Initiative By Let’s Spread Love

  • IWB Post
  •  February 9, 2017


What do we do when we see a hungry kid on the road or meet those old people asking for food once we step out of the restaurant after having filled our stomachs to the brim?

Not much.

I guess the maximum we do is give them the food that we didn’t want to waste on our table or probably buy them an ice cream. But there are some people who have taken the responsibility of bringing a smile on the withered faces of many suffering from hunger. Let me tell you about these good Samaritans who hail from Bangalore.

Harshil Mittal and four of his friends for a long time wanted to help people fight hunger. In their urge they began collecting food from their areas and started off by selling 40 boxes of food to the hunger struck people.

And would you believe in a span of two years, Let’s Feed Bangalore (LFB) has managed to register over 1200 volunteers and distribute over 8000-10,000 boxes every month.

To know more about their beautiful initiative and expansion plans, I spoke to Muhammed Siddiq, one of the members of the LFB family.

IWB: How did Let’s Feed Bangalore start?

Siddiq: So I’ll begin by letting you know that LFB is a volunteer group started off by four friends. Then eventually more people started pouring in and through friends and friends of friends we have grown this large. Today, we cater to 12-15 distribution centers and distribute approximately 8000 boxes of food on any of the Sundays every month.

IWB: How does LFB work and how can one register with you?

Siddiq: So LFB has three stages. A donor (one who cooks the food), volunteer, and the distribution center. But, a donor can be a volunteer too. Every month we decide on one Sunday and inform the local administrator in all the distribution center areas that we will be coming to distribute food. We feel since we are strangers to them, we need to develop a connect with the people for them to accept us in their space. So we try going a week prior and meet the local authorities. Also, considering Bangalore’s traffic we fix our deadline of collecting food boxes by 11:30 so that we reach our centers by lunch.

For those who want to register with us, every month, 10 days prior to our food drive we roll out online registration forms which get closed 4 days before the drive date. People can fill up those forms or connect with us through our Facebook and Whatsapp group too.

IWB: How are you planning to expand?

Siddiq: Well, we are in the mode of holding back more than expanding at the moment. After having worked on this initiative we have clearly realized that we have more donors than volunteers. Having 2000 registered volunteers we expect around 500 to turn up on the food drive days, but we only get approximately 200-250 of them. So our biggest challenge is to sort the volunteers first instead of expanding ourselves.

IWB: How do you fund the initiative?

Siddiq: Ohh it is a ‘No money given no money taken’ initiative. We are not an NGO and hence not registered. All the expenses incurred by the donors and the volunteers are borne by themselves. We are extremely glad and thankful to both our donors and volunteers for helping us feed people who starve for food.

IWB: Apart from satiating the hunger of the ones you feed, how else does the project help them?

Siddiq: LFB is now a part of the bigger project called Let’s Spread Love. Through Let’s Spread Love we distribute clothes, collaborate with other volunteers for activities such as teaching Kannada and also help rural women who have a very low earning capacity learn skills to enhance their monthly income.

IWB: Being a volunteer, have you ever got in the shoes of the donor and prepared food?

Siddiq: Ahhh, I don’t take the risk of cooking myself but yes, my mom does cook several times for kids. It feels great to get up in the morning and see good food prepared which you know is not for you but for those little ones in your locality. When I show their pictures to my mom, she feels extremely overwhelmed with joy!

IWB: What is the most memorable moment of LFB?

Siddiq: Uhh! That’s really a tough one.

After a minute pause, Siddiq replied, “Once when we went to distribute food, I saw a kid shouting and running towards his mother saying “Mom, today we’ll eat good food.”

With bright eyes and joy in his voice, his face and that memory still remain one of my favorites.

IWB: Most beautiful blessing you have received from someone you have fed?

Siddiq: I wouldn’t call it a blessing but I remember once 3 kids walked up to me and asked why do we distribute food to them. I asked them in return, “Do you like the food and do you feel happy?” They said yes of course!

That was when I explained to them that this is why we do it!

These moments and happiness that we witness on our food drives are priceless. That’s the reason we encourage our donors and welcome more and more volunteers to experience the connection to believe more in the work.

To those who waste food and think it is okay to do so, let us tell you, staggering 194 million people in India go hungry every day. One in every four children in our country is malnourished, making it home to one-third of the world’s malnourished children. We hope those who are in Bangalore will connect with Let’s Feed Bangalore and bring smiles on the face of many who are deprived of food.

You can connect with here and help them help people eat well.

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