Supporting the vulnerable, promoting food security

Food Security Program by Sodexo India

Published on : 10/16/20
  • A report released by the UN ranks India at the 94th position in the Global Hunger Index. Increase in economic burden triggered by the pandemic has brought about a greater impact on hunger and malnutrition. To make food systems more robust and resilient, The United Nation Organization’s, Food and Agriculture Association (FAO) has called out for more affordable, sustainable food solutions on World Food Day today.

     At the same time, the organization also wants to applaud the efforts of every person involved in the food system who has worked relentlessly during this pandemic to ensure food makes its consistent journey from farm to plate. 

    On this occasion, Sodexo too wants to display its gratitude to all partner organisations, clients, employees and staff who have adequately supported Sodexo’s efforts to tackle the problem of hunger and malnutrition across India.

    Combat Hunger Emergency aid to COVID affected communities – Sodexo - Stop Hunger joined hands with leading public service organizations – India Food Banking Network and Zomato Feeding India to offer aid to the daily wage-earners and low-income families in the local communities. The initiative entailed supply of dry ration kits and ready-to-eat packets to the partner organizations, who in turn worked with their NGO partners and local volunteers to make aid available to 96,555 beneficiaries with more than 10,00,000 meals in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Patna and Varanasi. While the association with India Food Banking Network involved distribution of a 15-kg dry ration kit including cooking essentials like rice, wheat flour, pulses, oil and spices the one with Zomato Feeding India focused on distribution of meal packets to migrant labourers, daily wage earners and stranded people at in-transit points with a meal kit containing water bottle, glucose biscuits, sattu (roasted gram or chana powder), chips, namkeen, roasted chana, soap strips and a face mask.

    Additionally, Sodexo employees also teamed up with leading corporate, healthcare and education clients to prepare more than 29.18 lakh community meals and distribute to the needy during the lockdown period among migrants and essential service providers.

    Local sourcing from farmers 

    Sodexo has made consistent efforts to build a robust supply chain to ensure sustainability and also to enable the entire food ecosystem. The company has associated with the small farmers’ association of Devnadi Valley Agriculture Producers Company Ltd. (DVAPCL) in Nashik to source fresh fruits & vegetables for its healthcare site, SMBT Medical College and Hospital in Ghoti, Maharashtra and a few more auto sites from in and around Nashik. This initiative has supported small farmers of the region by sourcing approximately 300 metric tons of fresh produce in FY 2020, helping them gain a good and consistent income, withstand price fluctuations and become self-reliant; the food ecosystem by ensuring savings in transportation costs and minimizing food wastage; and the consumers by providing them with fresh, nutritious and tasty meals.

    Project support 

    Sodexo has associated with several NGOs to support projects that encourage women entrepreneurship, build supply chain; thereby addressing the hunger issue and strengthening the society.

    Under the Mango Tree Project: Sodexo identified seven villages in Palghar district of Maharashtra, and through Stop Hunger, collaborated with Under the Mango Tree Society, to promote kitchen gardening and beekeeping. 100 women belonging to BPL households and a part of the significant tribal population were considered for the project; it promoted women entrepreneurship, enabled livelihoods, and created a food supply chain network. The vegetables produced were consumed by the family and the surplus was sold in the local markets to earn money to support household expenses.

    Shilpi Foundation Project: Sodexo partnered with Lead Earth and Shilpi Foundation to create awareness about financial empowerment and skill development. Around 50 women from Bhandup, Powai and Vikhroli (in Mumbai) were identified for a 4-month long training program. The beneficiaries were trained in cooking and business skills. During COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown in Mumbai, each of the beneficiaries were able to earn livelihood and support their families. They cooked around 1200 meals per day for over 65 days, serving 70,000 meals in total. These meals were then distributed to daily wage earners and to slums that were sealed during lockdown. Some of the beneficiaries are continuing their entrepreneurial journey till date. 

    World Food Programme Project: This is a two-year project currently in the implementation stage. Sodexo has teamed up with WFP to support the increase in livelihoods of nearly 50,000 smallholder women farmers in Odisha by undertaking financial inclusion, capacity strengthening, awareness campaigns and improved market linkages, including facilitating their inclusion in the Government’s minimum-support-price (MSP) based procurement systems.

    Sodexo has always upheld its values to enhance quality of life of people around the globe; and this majorly includes overcoming the problem of hunger and malnutrition. The company launched its Stop Hunger Foundation in 1999 in order to encourage people to donate their time, resources and expertise to ensure that everyone gets adequate healthy food and good nutrition. Through Servathon, the biggest global Stop Hunger event, Sodexo employees across the world, get together to fight the problem of hunger in their local communities. Other than cooking and serving meals to the underprivileged, volunteers also help to raise funds, plant community gardens, increase awareness about healthy eating and provide cooking instructions on nutritious recipes. The company consistently seeks to innovate sustainable solutions for a healthier planet.

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