Each year, an estimated one-third of all food produced in the world is wasted. Globally, this amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tons of food per year. In Bangladesh alone, food waste comprises most of all solid waste.
In an effort to minimise food waste, online delivery platform foodpanda Bangladesh has partnered with Bidyanondo Foundation, a non-profit organisation committed to feeding vulnerable communities across the country.
As part of this collaboration, volunteers from the Bidyanondo Foundation are collecting food items from cancelled orders on the foodpanda platform, according to a press release on Tuesday.
These food items are being collected from designated rider hubs and distributed amongst the underprivileged. This means that cancelled orders will no longer go to waste, it added.
Beyond promoting greater food security and reducing food wastage, both the Bidyanondo Foundation and foodpanda Bangladesh pledge that all collected food is being redistributed with food safety standards and proper packaging in mind.
foodpanda also ensures that food items returned by its riders to designated hubs throughout the day will remain fresh and safe for consumption, while Bidyanondo Foundation volunteers ensure that the stored items will be picked up in a timely manner and distributed among the needy in a way that maintains proper hygiene.
This initiative is currently functional in Dhaka and Chattogram and will soon be extended to other major cities where there is significant food wastage.
"We're happy that Bidyanondo Foundation has come forward to support us in reducing food wastage. Through this collaboration, not only will we be able to reduce food wastage, but we will also help feed vulnerable individuals over time and achieve better sustainability for the future. We're hoping that this initiative will help make a positive impact on the community and country we love so much," said Ambareen Reza, managing director and co-founder at foodpanda Bangladesh.
Kishor Kumar Das, founder and chairman of Bidyanondo Foundation said, "Even after providing food to millions of people in the One Taka Meal program, we felt dissatisfied with food charity for not being able to take any effective action against food wastage. The dream that we had for the last three years by conveying the food collected from social events to the floating people, is now starting its journey on a large scale with foodpanda."