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The Hunger Bank- Mengurangi Kelaparan

Hunger Bank: A Small Step To Decrease Hunger

One of the current high-profile global issues is hunger. According to the Global Hunger Index of 2015, Indonesia is at a serious level of 22.1 point (ranking 47th). Presently, many people still suffer from hunger despite the fact that edible food leftovers are wasted at both the domestic and wider level. Some key factors that play a role in  this are people’s habit of having ‘Hungry Eyes’/’Lapar Mata’, unsuitable tastes of food, large food portions and so on.

Thus, The Hunger Bank (HB) was formed. This is a Non Governmental organization (NGO) based in Bandung that realizes the fact and tries to solve the issue of hunger. The organization (established by Imam Assovie and Falencia Naoenz, International Relations Study program, Parahyangan Catholic University (Unpar)’s alumni of 20120, deals with reducing the number of hungry people and edible leftovers at the same time. Its mission is to distribute edible food leftovers from credible donors to the needy. Current HB donors range from households, restaurants, stalls, to cafes and hotels. HB started operating in March 2016. This organization tries to make sustainable development of the society come true by inviting those with an abundance of food to donate it to poor people who have difficulty in obtaining decent food through the zero waste movement.

The Hunger Bank’s operating system is simple. It establishes relationships with several restaurants that have a similar vision to directly participate by donating their edible food leftovers for the day. the Hunger Bank will commence operation once donors contact the HB regarding the availability of consumable food leftovers. Then the HB team packs the food neatly and hygienically. When the packaging process is finished, the HB team directly head to homeless spots scouted by previous surveys to distribute the food. Consequently, the Hunger Bank does not process ingredients into food. Instead,  it takes readily consumable food, that for several reasons become leftovers, which is then packaged and distributed to those in need.

This ease of system cannot instantly eliminate obstacles. Imam reveals several main problems: first, the lack of regular donors and sponsors often hamper the food distribution process. This is mainly due to the lack of trust and pessimism of donors whether their food is really distributed from restaurant owners from the Bandung area. Second, the Hunger Bank still requires volunteers for logistics, IT, publication and marketing. Third, the Hunger Bank still has difficulty in determining the distinction betweenthose who are really in need of food and those who are simply lazy, hence the street roaming.

Ever since its launch a month ago, the Hunger Bank has received positive feedback from those to whom that they distribute food. Happy faces beamed and multiple thanks were uttered during the distributions. “We are so grateful to become a part of this small change and we would like people to see that no matter how meaningless leftovers seem to us, it would mean the world for others who might not have any meals a for whole day. We also received major support from Unpar lecturers and students who are willing to run with this idea” said Imam.

With the establishment of this organization, Imam hopes that in the future there won’t be anybody who left hungry and having to search for food in garbage bins. He also hopes that prospering people will be willing to help the needy. It is hoped that Indonesian people who are wiser and willing to appreciate the importance of food can emerge from this Hunger Bank that hopefully will be spread to other areas with similar problems.