IMPACT

Literal Food Bank Lets People Deposit, Withdraw Food As Needed

“The poor, unemployed and old can withdraw respectfully, without begging.”

This project is giving a whole new meaning to the word “food bank.”

The Roti Bank in Aurangabad, India allows people with extra food to deposit it at the “bank,” and others who are hungry or poor to withdraw it, according to the Indian Express.  

“The idea behind the bank is to ask people from well-to-do families to spare food cooked at their home,” Yusuf Mukati, the project’s founder, told the news outlet. “The poor, unemployed and old can withdraw it respectfully, without begging.” 

While traditional Food Banks get food from national food and grocery manufacturers or governments agencies, this model gets its food from ordinary citizens: anyone with extra food can give, and anyone who is hungry takes.

Businessman Yusuf Mukati started the Roti Bank last year, according to the video above from AJ+. The bank serves more than 500 people in need every day. 

“Over the years, I saw many poor people, especially Muslims, who can't afford one square meal a day," Mukati told the Indo-Asian News Service. “But because they live a dignified life, they do not resort to begging.”

More than 200 food deposits are made every day, by good samaritans, as well as hotels and caterers who contribute leftover food, according to the Indian Express. 

People waiting in line to withdraw food from the Roti Bank. (screenshot from AJ+)
People waiting in line to withdraw food from the Roti Bank. (screenshot from AJ+)

By making use of leftover food, the Roti Bank not only helps to provide nourishment to poor families, but also contributes to curbing food waste

Other food banks with similar give-and-take models have popped up around India in the last year, in Uttar Pradesh, Bundelkhand, and Mumbai

“Start the work and God will help you take it ahead,” Mukati said in the video. “The poor person who couldn’t get any food before, now they get food.”

A man depositing food at Roti Bank. (screenshot from AJ+ video)
A man depositing food at Roti Bank. (screenshot from AJ+ video)
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