Social service
A Chennai-based doctor has started a campaign called #happyplatechennai, to initiate food waste awareness and collect food for 1,000 needy people.
Image: Dr Issa Fathima, Founder of Ayyamittu Unn project

After initiating a community fridge in Besant Nagar, an orthodontist from Chennai has started a campaign this month to provide food for about 1,000 families.

Dr Issa Fathima Jasmine, an orthodontist and founder of Ayyamittu Unn project - a registered charity which takes food donations and provides for needy people, has started a campaign called #happyplatechennai, to initiate food waste awareness and collect food for 1,000 needy people.

The campaign will continue for the entire month of October. “This is a campaign that we are promoting for World Food Day. We have been insisting people not to waste food, so for that, we are asking people to post pictures of their emptied plates and also tag people so that awareness can be spread. We are trying to find supportive families who would like to donate food by the end of the month,” said Dr. Issa Fathima Jasmine.

They are planning to provide food to 1,000 families by the end of the month. “Anyone who would like to contribute food to this campaign or sponsor, we are happy to accept. We will contribute it to the underprivileged people. We will only accept non-perishable items, the food bundle will contain rice, dal and one sweet pack as it is Diwali time. We want to bring it in that way,” said Dr. Issa Fathima.

“We are identifying a place now. We are clear what we want to do but we are identifying the place, four to five places have been shortlisted. By October 15, we will be able to tell the finalised place. We will find a place which has not been touched upon by any other organisation,” added Dr. Issa Fathima.

Explaining why the campaign was started, she said, “As Diwali is coming, many people do not even have the money to buy basic food, we want to help in a place where people find it difficult to buy basic food and also we want to raise awareness about not wasting food.”

In August, a community fridge ‘Ayyamittu Unn’ was set up outside the Besant Nagar Tennis Club in Chennai by Dr. Issa Fathima. People from nearby areas place fruits, biscuits, water and cooked meals inside the fridge. Others put shoes, socks, clothes, books and more in the shelves. It is open from 9am to 7pm.

Read: How one woman’s community fridge in Chennai is ensuring the needy don’t go to bed hungry

“The response for the community fridge has been very good and a lot of people have come forward saying they want to install a community fridge. There is a person who cooks food every day and donates 10 food packets and there is a school which donates 20 packets,” said Dr. Issa.

To contribute food to this campaign, call or WhatsApp on 9884466228.