FeedMyBangalore, an initiative that kicked off on Day 2 of the lockdown with 500 meals being distributed to daily wage workers and their families living in labour camps and slums, has now scaled to 15,000 meals/day and will touch 20,000 meals/day soon.

The brainchild of three Bengalureans — Venkat K Narayana, CEO of Prestige Group; Juggy Marwaha, Executive MD, JLL India; and K Ganesh, serial entrepreneur and promoter HungerBox, BigBasket and Portea Medical, the initiative was expanded to Hyderabad (FeedMyHyderabad) on March 30 with 11,000 meals being served in the last four days.

FeedMyMumbai was launched on Thursday with 2,200 meals; FeedMyChennai will be launched on Friday, followed by launches in Noida and Kolkata in the next two days.

The initiative, aimed at preventing deaths due to starvation during such trying times, is funded by KVN Foundation along with contributions from other HNIs and is executed by HungerBox, a three-and-a-half-year old start-up in the institutional foodtech space, that serves 126 clients across IT services, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, aviation and financial services sectors.

Scaling operations

“We have scaled to 50,000 meals over the last six days in Bengaluru, 11,000 meals in the last 4 days in Hyderabad and have launched in Mumbai today with 2,200 meals. Our aim is to scale to 20,000 meals per city, per day. While the KVN Foundation is funding this initiative, the bigger challenge is to operationalise kitchens, source raw materials, cook and distribute the meals to the needy, including school children and daily wage workers” Sandipan Mitra, co-founder and CEO, HungerBox, told BusinessLine .

The start-up has a network of 2,400 quality food vendors who are audited for hygiene and safety as per the FSSAI guidelines by its in-house ISO-certified auditors. The vendors are screened and sanitised and food is cooked following social distancing norms in large industrial kitchens in each of the cities.

“The rice-rich, 440 gms of high carb meals that we distribute, differs every day. So far, we have distributed bisibelebath , lemon rice, puliyogare,khichdi , vegetable pulav and kabuli-channa flavoured rice. The idea is to provide as many school children and daily wage workers with one filling/satisfying meal per day, till the end of the lockdown on April 14,” said Madhukar Kukunoor, Director of Sales, HungerBox.

The start-up has quickly absorbed about 200 staff from its food vendor network and brought them onto its rolls. “In compliance with government guidelines we are deploying them at 40 client campuses around the country to ensure that the clients’ staff engaged only in business-critical functions as per government regulations, have food to eat. We have already served over 9,000 food packs, cooked and served onsite for support staff at these campuses,” said Mitra. Push notifications on the HungerBox app has also been enabled so that its clients’ employees can contribute daily essentials such as bread, milk, and/or meal for one or meal for four.