Nourish, a local NGO that was established a year ago, is on a drive to end food waste and to assist the 100,000 people in T&T affected by hunger and poverty.
The 2012 World Bank Report, What A Waste, found T&T to be one of the biggest offenders when it comes to wasting food. Nourish has joined with others across the globe like Hands for Hunger (Bahamas), Foodcloud (Ireland) and Fareshare (UK), all of which were formed to fight hunger in their respective countries.
Today, Nourish will host its official launch at the Queen's Park Oval.
Founder Krista Santos said the launch will feature discussions on the NGO's background, its successes and testimonies from its partners and beneficiaries of its services. There will be a keynote address from Dr Lystra Fletcher-Paul, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation representative and an expert in the field of food security.
Santos, a former investment banker, said she was always very passionate about not wasting food. In fact, she is well known to her local grocery as she frequents the establishment almost every day of the week just so food won't spoil in her refrigerator. The impetus for which the business came last June, after Santos witnessed some heavy food wastage by a local retailer she believed was throwing away perfectly good food. So bothered by what she'd seen, she quickly pulled together the Nourish pitch and successfully presented it to some of the people who now make up the NGO's eight-member board.
The self-funded NGO believes that good food should never be thrown away but given to people in need.
To enable companies to be part of Nourish's endeavour, they use the company's website to post about possible food donations to the Nourish website. Charities can then place orders for food and these orders are collected by Nourish and delivered to the charities. Santos has said that so far Nourish has never received food that cannot be eaten. The stuff they get is always in date and fit for consumption. On an average, Nourish's distributes 2,500 meals per week.
The Nourish food distribution plan sounds like an attractive idea for individuals, and that idea is being explored at the moment. "Community food drives are something that we are exploring, so it is very possible that you may see one in a supermarket near you soon. We are also very excited about some initiatives which would involve volunteers, so anyone who is passionate about this cause should go on our website and click on Connect with Nourish. We will register your details in our system and get in touch about volunteering opportunities."