With the Coronavirus pandemic and its consequent 6 weeks long unprecedented government-imposed lockdown wreaking havoc in poor & marginalised communities, India’s largest dining out and restaurant tech platform, Dineout is rapidly scaling its recently launched community-driven initiative, ‘Project Thali’ across 20 Indian cities to actively serve the most number of poor and vulnerable communities who may not be able to claim daily ration get access to food & nourishment. The brand has been using the donations collected from the drive to cook meals using the sanitised kitchens & expert chefs of its partner restaurants to feed the hungry.
Hosted in partnership with non-profit World Help Group, this initiative invited people to donate rations, cooked food, volunteer or donate by means of guaranteeing food security for a vulnerable family for 15 days for Rs 1400 only. Over 1,00,000 KG of rations and food has been distributed to thousands of individuals in less than three weeks, the brand has been leveraging the cooking infrastructure of its 20,000 strong partner restaurant community including Delhi Zaika, Keiba and Madras Diaries in Mumbai and Chaayos and Biryani By Kilo in Delhi NCR among others to feed more than 1.5 lakh people from malnourished communities on a daily basis.
Ankit Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO – Dineout said, “The extended COVID-19 lockdown will see hundreds of millions of Indians stressed and in need of crucial resources. In such times of dire crisis, food is one of the biggest concerns in developing economies like ours. In light of the current situation, we are exponentially scaling ‘Project Thali’ to cover as many poor and marginalised communities in the shortest span of time. Our extended team of 1500+ volunteers have been toiling to help make a difference in the lives of these sections of our society, and our collaboration with leading restaurants in the country has given us the opportunity to work in synergy to have a larger impact on those struggling to make ends meet during this extended lockdown. Our vision is to make sure no one goes to sleep hungry, and we will do everything it takes to help feed the needy in every corner of India.”
Neeti Goel, Owner at Keiba, said, “I had read an article about kids eating grass due to the lack of food and the sight of it made me feel miserable. That is when I realised that this pandemic has posed several challenges to us, especially underprivileged and the needy. They are fighting not just against the virus but also against hunger and starvation at the same time. Everyone’s role is crucial and therefore we have to make it count. I’m grateful to everyone who has come forward and collaborated or donated for the efforts to feed the needy in this time of crisis”
Md. Samsuddin, Rickshaw-puller, Mumbai – “We are stuck in Khar, Mumbai. There are no passengers on the street, I have zero savings. I cannot return to my village because trains are not working. It is a very tough life. I only rely on these food packets, otherwise I would starve to death.”
Besides ‘Project Thali’ to eliminate hunger among the needy, Dineout has initiated an online petition to support NRAI on change.org, requesting the Finance Ministry and Government of India to help restaurants with employee unemployment pay cover, moratorium on upcoming statutory dues, delay in utility bill payments, holiday/temporary stoppage on EMI payments & interest, freezing rental dues & restoration of Input Tax Credit on GST for all restaurants. The petition has received widespread acknowledgement and has been signed by more than 35,000 people and endorsed by some of the country’s biggest restaurateurs & F&B entrepreneurs.