How many times have we driven around the city, walked out of a plush eatery or a mall and felt bad for the homeless, who have no clue about sourcing their next meal. But most of us have wallowed in pity, felt helpless and let this feeling pass-by. Sneha Mohandoss, a young professional in her early 20s, decided that this is not enough.
She wanted to share the love, warmth of family and good food with the less-fortunate people, deprived of love and family, alone on the streets. It began by making an extra portion of a simple nutritious meal that was meant to be given to a person in need. This simple thought spread like wildfire and was eagerly accepted by people with the same eagerness to help. People started coming together for the greater good from across the city. Today Food Bank has 200 volunteers and 25,000 members on Facebook in Chennai alone. The organisation connects people who want to help the homeless with home-cooked nutritious food.This year they are planning to feed 5,00,000 homeless people and are already working towards making them employable in the future.
“We realised that feeding homeless solves their immediate problems but we need to look at long-term solutions. If we can impart necessary skills that can help them get some job in the future then they can lead normal lives. We are currently working towards the latter and will soon start imparting necessary skills. Also we expanded our feeding operations to South Africa recently and are hoping to make a difference there as well, ” says Sneha.
Talking about how she the idea of Food Bank came up, she shares, “I have always been extremely active on social media, especially Facebook like most people of my generation. One day, I realised that I could use social media to help people as opposed to merely whiling away my time. I had observed how my grandparents gave fresh, home-cooked meals to the poor. During my school days, I used to visit the Sai Baba Temple every Thursday and give food to the poor. I also realised that there were many people like me looking to feed the poor, but no one had any idea where to come together or whom to contact. Thus, I started a group on Facebook and Food Bank was born.”. She adds, “We give fresh, home-cooked food to the homeless. I believe if you are willing to help others you should do so to the best of your capability.”
Once word got around about what she was doing, she began receiving calls from people in Goa, Faridabad, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and other places, asking about how they could set up food banks too. “Today we operate in all these cities and many more. We hope to reach out to as many people as possible,” she says.
If you wish to feed the poor and homeless just join the Facebook group or just call 9003661122/9003661122