- 1.2 trillion* kgs of food is wasted each year
- 815 million* – number of people who do not have enough food to eat/go hungry
Hunger is more than missing a meal. Hunger is a crisis that has almost a billion people in its grip. 11.3% of the world’s population is hungry. At the same time 1/3rd of the world’s produce goes to waste. So, where does the challenge lie? The challenge is not a lack of food — it is making food consistently available to everyone who needs it. These numbers are proof that the world isn’t short of food, but is suffering from an inequitable distribution of resources.
The Robin Hood Army (RHA) did not think of these numbers when, for the first time, they distributed 30-odd leftover paranthas from a party in August 2014 to people living under a foot-over bridge in Delhi, the latter who ate them quickly not knowing when their next meal would be, if at all. The emotions the RHA folks felt then, propelled them to change this unfair scenario with a solution which, in their opinion, was not rocket science and achievable, even amidst busy schedules.
Robin Hood Army (RHA), a volunteer-based organisation, aims to eradicate food wastage and hunger. How do they do it? They collect surplus food from restaurants, weddings, parties, anywhere and distribute it to those in need – people living in slums, footpaths, under flyovers, in orphanages, etc. They function in a decentralised manner and are currently present in 80 cities all over the world. RHA consists of a volunteer team of ‘Robins’ – young professionals and citizens who take to the streets in their spare time to fight national hunger. The organisation has a strict no-funds approach, and scales up through social media and partnerships. This army, that started one evening out of a passion to feed 30 fellow citizens, today serves more than 6.5 million people across different locations – Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Lucknow, Colombo, Jakarta and Toronto.
This Independence Day, RHA is waging a patriotic war against an enemy which is beyond any border – hunger. They have partnered with digital entertainment company Pocket Aces for the campaign #MissionMillion2018. In this campaign, volunteers will serve meals to one million citizens in need and use technology to mobilise members across civil society to reach out to their leaders to build a hunger-free India. The mission will be executed in four ways:
- 16,000+ ‘Robins’ across 60 Indian towns and cities will manage field operations and serve meals to one million less-fortunate citizens this 15th August. These meals will be served to orphanages, old-age homes, homeless people, and ailing patients across the country.
- Meanwhile, a viral video created by Pocket Aces will reach seven million followers across social media platforms through its brand FilterCopy to drive awareness about India’s hunger problem (190 million hungry people). The video aims to mobilise citizens to appeal to leaders across different fields to recognise and act on the hunger issue.
- Through RHA’s tech platform (robinhoodarmy.com/missionmillion2018), millions of viewers of the video can personally engage with a finite set of leaders and request them to take a stand against hunger in the country.
- RHA has also partnered at a local level with radio stations, billboard companies, media houses, and digital groups to mobilise local communities and spread awareness of the campaign all the way through to Independence Day.
“We are thrilled to partner with Robin Hood Army for this ambitious initiative of feeding one million less-fortunate people this Independence Day,” says Aditi Shrivastava, co-founder, Pocket Aces, adding, “As a media company, we reach more than 50 million people every week with our content, and this gives us immense power to influence how people think and act. We're committed to leveraging this power responsibly by spreading the word for #MissionMillion2018, and empowering our audiences to participate in this cause.”
“The biggest act of freedom is serving one’s countrymen. #MissionMillion2018 is an example of what can be achieved when civil society and the private sector work together with the best interest of local communities at heart. The hope is to create a nation where each citizen has the basic three square meals a day – a journey that we know is just getting started,” says Aarushi Batra, co-founder, Robin Hood Army.
This Independence Day, RHA is calling upon restaurants/mega event organisers to distribute their surplus food, Culture makers (actors, sportspersons and comedians) and Changemakers (politicians and industrialists) to mobilise their fellow countrymen to feed people in their respective neighbourhoods.
In keeping with RHA’s guiding principle, no funds will be raised for the mission – people who wish to contribute can simply share the video, tweet to the leaders, or join the mass food distribution drive on 15th August.
So, what are you waiting for? Be the change you want to see!
*Source – United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
About Robin Hood Army
Robin Hood Army (RHA) is a volunteer team of young professionals and citizens who have taken to the streets in their free time to fight national hunger. The team collects surplus food from restaurants and distributes it to the less fortunate. In four years, RHA has served food to 6.5 million people across 80 cities globally. The organisation has a strict no-funds approach, and scales up through social media and partnerships.
About Pocket Aces
Pocket Aces is a digital entertainment company that is leveraging technology to create and distribute engaging content for the Indian millennial. The company currently runs four brands: FilterCopy, Dice Media, Gobble, and India's first live-streaming game show app, Loco. Pocket Aces is funded by prominent investment firms such as Sequoia Capital.