In 2021, we started the ‘Daily Feeding Program’ with a mission to provide regular nutritious meals to the most marginalised communities in India. Our aim was to provide steady food assistance to people, to let them divert their income to other important areas like education planning, health, infrastructure and more.
The program focused on states ranking lower on the hunger index. As a result, we extended the program from the capital region to towns and cities in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan as well1.
In Rajasthan, we came across thousands of artisans living in rural areas who once helped drive the economy but were now struggling for sustenance through their art. To ensure we reached them faster, we tied up with local foundations and non-governmental organisations driving skill development programs, so that we could enable access to a nutritious diet.
We partnered with on-ground organisations like Jaipur Rugs Foundation. With their help, we ran our first local Rajasthan campaign starting with Bikaner in November 2021, which was further extended to Dhanota, Thanagaji, Sarai Bavadi, Khavarani, Kekari, Shahpura, and Surana.
The responsibility to drive the Daily Feeding Program further became even more crucial for us during the pandemic when many working/ migrated family members returned to their villages. This further strained the earning capacity of the family as suddenly there were many more mouths to feed.
What we have seen is that the Daily Feeding Program extends support by not only providing nutritious meals to all family members but also enabling savings. Each ration kit allows a family to save approximately up to INR 700 every month (an estimate provided by the Jaipur Rugs Foundation) – an amount that can be used to fund other expenses like education, uniforms, weddings or health. In doing so, the program also helps families to avoid borrowing from informal means – an unhealthy practice that traps a lot of villagers into debt.
To date, we have distributed more than 14 lakh meals to hundreds of artisans’ families.
Feeding India’s mission is to extend the Daily Feeding Program to as many beneficiaries as possible. For we believe, a nutritiously-fed family is one step closer to our goal of making India hunger-free.
Stories like these affirm our belief that food is far more than a meal and a mere functional need. It is more than just the morsel we eat but a building block of a fulfilling life.
This article is part of a running series called Feeding India – The Lens, where we share the impact, learnings and growth of our key campaign ‘The Daily Feeding Program’. Through this series, we aim to bring more awareness to our mission of serving daily meals to people in need across India. Keep reading and keep Feeding India.
- National Multidimensional Poverty Index Baseline Report, niti.gov.in
- National_MPI_India, niti.gov.in
About Feeding India
Feeding India is a not for profit organisation by Zomato, which is on a mission to solve hunger in India by helping vulnerable communities achieve food security and a sustainable livelihood.