One-Third of food is WASTED!
The population of our planet is about 7.5 billion as of now but the food produced each year is enough to feed 11 to 12 billion people! It shows how inefficient the food production as well as consumption systems are. Food rescue also known as food salvage is a well-fit practice within many communities in our world. In order to nourish the community and fight food waste, food bank’s role is undeniable . In Iran, there have been some attempts to create a food bank in the past, but none of them succeeded.
Jump for Bread organization is setting up the first official food bank in Iran. This operation is happening with cooperation of Toloo Bineshanha Society in Tehran. In this project, we are going to make a network of food suppliers (restaurants, universities, bakeries, chain stores, shops, etc.) and receive extra food on a daily basis. Then just like any other major food banks, we will either work as front line models and distribute the food directly to the needy or supply the food to smaller NGOs, mosques and community centers.
The project’s overall objective is to distribute 20 million food packages within 4 years in Iranian major cities. This exceptional movement is to be supported by corporate donations, individual giving and mass social media sharing. Over-production always exists within the production lines of each company, an unprecedented potential for the food bank to benefit. In addition existing NGOs and charities are not fully centered on a systematic operation to receive and donate food. Furthermore, there is a huge potential within the Iranian society to donate food and parcels for religious and philanthropic motives.
Currently, many groups of volunteers are working to receive and distribute food in many cities. In Yazd, Amol and Karaj for instance, there are plenty of volunteers that hand out fairly a thousand hot meals each week. The corona virus pandemic has interrupted jobs for a lot of Iranian families, made them reliant on food donations. More particular, Toloo’s Tehran No Hunger initiative, is working since 2015 to get fresh food to rehabilitation centers and the homeless.
The way ahead…
There is still a very long way to go in order to successfully establish and run a food bank in Iran. As stated above, unlike several countries, we are experiencing a new challenge in Iran. On one hand, there is this huge space to develop the idea and connect food companies to the food bank and create a robust network of food supply for the needy but the other hand the challenges always exist.
Jump for Bread organization is executing a new method for food bank that fits into Iran’s condition. We are trying to learn experiences from similar food banks to accelerate our service to the hungry people. As always, we believe that we can’t help everyone but everyone can help someone and we do all we can to establish and develop the idea of food bank in Iran.