Wednesday, December 9, 2009

India Food Banking Network, IFBN Launched

Launch of The India Food Banking Network is a giant step towards the eradication of hunger which will surely enhance our strength in the fight against hunger. The Aidmatrix Foundation and The Global FoodBanking Network hosted the launch of The India Food Banking Network, IFBN, Planning forum in Delhi .

India Food Banking Network is a system that will move food from donors to the people who need it the most and engage all sectors of society towards this effort. This food banking system will feed millions of people each year,and become a vehicle for building public awareness about hunger and nutrition, and serve as a powerful voice that drives policy decisions and initiatives that impact the food security of individuals and communities.

At the inaugural address Dr Sam Pitroda,Chairman - IFBN emphasized the need of establishment of IFBN to eliminate hunger in India. “Hunger affects generations, communities, societies and countries. When technology, productivity, logistics and transportation have been increased by leaps and bounds, we can't choose to ignore the fact that billions of our people are dying from hunger or sleeping half fed every night. Launch of The India Food Banking Network is a giant step towards the eradication of hunger which will surely enhance our strength in the fight against hunger.” He stated.

IFBN is establishing a national food banking system focused on collecting surplus and unsalable food from the agricultural community and from the the food industry like manufacturers, distributors, and retailers catering to both urban and rural needs. Through this system, the India Food Banking Network initiates an infrastructure for serving the hungry and catering to the nutritional needs. Governor Scott McCallum, CEO Aidmatrix highlighted “how a technology driven initiative like the IFBN will truly provide the systems and mechanism for an effective food procurement, handling and distribution”

Veena S. Rao, IAS – Retired Secretary Government of India, along with Chris Rebstock - Vice President, The Global FoodBanking Network shared their views and ideas on the relevancy of food bank in India and discussed opportunities and hurdles in adaptation of food banking and innovative solutions for food security.

According to Chris, “Food Banks are viable tools to promote food security. When hunger is the cause of maximum deaths per year, It was necessary to establish a technology based infrastructure or a platform where the various working sectors like government, NGOs and private can come and work towards rooting out hunger.”

Veena S. Rao highlighted to the audience about health related issues that food banking also addresses in terms of providing hygienic, pure and clean surroundings while storing and serving food. “There is huge difference between nutritional security and food security. The need of the hour is to provide the required nutritional package. There is a possibility that many may not die of hunger but other related problems or diseases.” Said Rao.

The India Food Banking Network addresses the issue of hunger related problems prevalent in all age groups and will ensure the permanent access of food within the country. The goal of IFBN is to create permanent and positive change regarding food issues in communities by leveraging and aligning resources among the public sector, private sector and the voluntary sector.

J.K Sinha, Honorable member of National Disaster Management Authority appreciated the initiative and purpose of IFBN. “Food becomes more important at times of disasters . With so many corporates and organizations coming on board, the difficult task has become easy.” Stated Sinha.

“The concept of IFBN is a bridge for corporates and recipients to pool and distribute food with technology expertise of Aidmatrix. There is no doubt that IFBN will prove as an extremely useful tool for handling hunger in the coming times.” Said V.N. Gaur, CEO – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, who also appreciated the IFBN focus on food safety during the salvaging, handling and distribution process.

Along with these case studies by Munishwar Vasudeva, Business head- Adani Group, Leena Joseph, DGM- Naandi Foundation and Dr Murli -Programmes Officer- World Food Programme, India were presented to showcase the success and opportunities in Food Banking. Also there was case studies on the opportunities in development market place by Hemanth Kumar- Vice President, CSO Partners who presented the upcoming online initiative on NGO marketplace.

For more details on The India Food Banking Network please visit :

To view the Synopsis of The India Food Banking Network Planning Forum Launch please visit :

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