Hyderabad: Failing to feed the needy

Hyderabad: Failing to feed the needy
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Lack of awareness? ‘Feed the Need’ refrigerators get cold response from denizens

Hyderabad: The food is hot but response is cold. The 'Feed the Need' community refrigerators, numbering 35 across the twin cities, are mostly empty. Started by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) with Apple Home for Orphan Kids last year, the initiative is getting a lukewarm response.

The Hans India lensman along with this reporter surveyed the refrigerators installed at various locations in the city, only to find then empty. "Anything free has no value, it could be the reason for the cold response," says Sangeetha Naik, a sociology student. "Many are not aware of the facility, there is a need for more publicity," she adds. Residents, NGOs, restaurants, hoteliers and others are supposed to place food inside the refrigerators that would otherwise have gone waste. However, Hyderabadis are unable to donate the extra food to the needy, and would be disposing of it as garbage.

Several 'Feed the Need' refrigerators in the north zone including ones at Secunderabad Railway Station, West Marredpally, Paradise Hotel and Gandhi Hospital had just one packet or none, but Nideesh Pullarkat, executive officer, Apple Homes for Orphan Kids, disagrees, "We are receiving good response and needy are making use of this community fridge. The GHMC is taking care of the electricity and maintenance part and even a person is allotted to look after the community refrigerator."We also have WhatsApp group where daily updates are posted."

"Usually, during night times, local residents and nearby hotels come and place leftover food" said Basava Raju, caretaker of community refrigerators, West Marredpally. "Just for one week after installing this kiosk people used to deposit food items such as idlis, rice and other restaurant leftovers but now there is lack of same zeal," said Ravi, a fruit seller at West Marredpally.

"There is nobody to check the kind of food being deposited, so now-a-days people stopped visiting the place, but still the hungry come and check if there is anything edible and after seeing empty fridge go away disheartened. This initiative needs awareness," said Rani, a commuter at Secunderabad Railway Station.

Why people do not want to consume the food. "The food is cold and also stale. I visited the place for availing of food but I found it is cold," said Manoj, a construction worker, Tolichowki.

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