The Hunger Collective was established shortly after the onset of the coronavirus lockdown in order to address the issue of food shortages and hunger.
People throughout the country
With the onset of the coronavirus lockdown on March 25, 2020, daily wage earners and contract workers were left without employment or income, and migrant workers found themselves stranded without a means to return home. As a result, they were unable to access or afford food and ration, which became inaccessible.
To address this issue, the Hunger Collective was established as an initiative to provide food and ration to those in need. The technology-driven solution provided by Impactree connects donors, volunteers, local organizations, and grocers directly with those who require assistance.
Since its establishment, the Hunger Collective has expanded its activities beyond just the distribution of rations. It has arranged trains to transport hundreds of migrant workers from Tamil Nadu back to their homes, donated over 1,000 PPE kits to frontline workers in COVID-19 relief centers in Mumbai, provided sanitary napkins to over 1,500 vulnerable women, and assisted in setting up infrastructure for fever clinics.
How We Did It
Initially, the Hunger Collective provided migrant workers with two months' worth of ration. However, the organization soon realized that this solution was not sustainable and that facilitating the workers' return home was the best option. To achieve this goal, the Hunger Collective collaborated with NGOs, media and corporate entities, government organizations, Indian Railways, IRCTC, and the police force of various states to send migrants back home via Shramik trains.
The Hunger Collective played a crucial role in addressing the verification and logistical challenges faced by various stakeholders to ensure the smooth operation of trains during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of civil society and donors, the Hunger Collective sponsored the journey and provided essential supplies, food, and counseling for over 10,000 migrants who were sent from Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu through this initiative.
The Hunger Collective has established a technology-driven process that is both hyper-local and widespread in its scope. Through the use of WhatsApp, Impactree has successfully connected with local volunteer groups, non-profit organizations, civic bodies, societies, and government schools and agencies to map the demand for food and deliver supplies to those in need.
To ensure that the process is streamlined and efficient, the demand for food is directly entered into a database using the organization's website and Google forms. Depending on the level of demand, volunteers, grocers, or ration shop owners verify the requirements and details of the beneficiaries over the phone.
Once the demand is verified, the supplies or money are either sent directly to the beneficiaries through community volunteers or NGOs on the ground, or to a local grocer who has been identified and connected with using digital payment systems. The fulfillment of the demand is ensured within an hour, with photos of the groceries received being communicated to the donors for transparency and accountability purposes.
Some of the communities served:
Daily wage earners and farming communities in rural areas.
Mining and construction workers.
Children in government schools.
Migrants and underprivileged communities.
Rag pickers and solid waster management professionals.
Commercial sex workers and transgenders.
Daily wage earners in tourism and service industries. Differently able and handicapped.
People affected by natural or man-made disasters.