In April 2015,three university students Huzaifa Ahmed, Musa Amir and Qasim Javed came up with an idea: they would feed the underprivileged and those living under poverty by collecting food that normally goes to waste and deliver it to those who could not afford a meal.
With immense efforts, “Rizq” was produced although the founders were faced with academic pressures, however, they have still managed to play a commendable role in the ” nuisances of hunger and malnutrition.”
MediaBites managed to get in touch with one of the masterminds behind the Nobel principal, Qasim Javed.
Hi Qasim, firstly please Introduce yourself and the team behind Rizq?
“We are three economics majors, who just graduated from LUMS a week back, and the team consists of students from schools and universities throughout the city. ”
What is Rizq? many of our readers are unaware of the concept behind Rizq, can you please elaborate exactly what you do.
“Rizq is a social enterprise focused on smart channelization of food resources in Pakistan to eliminate food insecurity and malnourishment. Rizq has developed a unique model for a “marketplace” of food donors and food insecure. Rizq partners with restaurants and caterers who give the surplus food, and with various community centers, for a more targeted intervention for the poor. With the help of our community centers we identify and verify food insecure households and provide them with low-cost or free food assistance, enabled to reduce hunger in an impactful and measurable way.”
How did you come up with the idea?
“According to the current stats, around 40% of all food produced is wasted, whereas 40% of the Pakistani population is food insecure. The idea behind Rizq is to bridge this gap through the channelisation of excess food, and not using any extra resources. As Economics Majors, we are always told about the problem of scarcity of resources, but in this case what we have figured out is that it is not the scarcity of food, but a lack of channelisation and this is where Rizq comes in.”
What role does Ahsan Khan play in Rizq.
“Ahsan khan joined us in our Ramzan drive last year and supported us throughout the month by personally coming to the Aftaars and funding them too, however he was kind enough to extend his support for the cause of Food wastage and hunger and became the Rizq ambassador.”
How many people do you manage to feed a month?
“We have a partnership with 3 buffet restaurants and 7 bakeries throughout lahore and on average 150 kgs of food is collected daily, which feeds 300-450 people, and 9000 to 1300 people a month just with excess food. However in the month of Ramzan we have Aftaar drives, in which we feed around 1000-1500 people daily, feeding.”
Are you limited to Lahore? If so, do you plan to expand to other cities?
“Currently the major operations are limited to Lahore only, however, we are moving towards expansion in Islamabad and Karachi, teams are being formed in both the cities and the operations have started informally.”
What is ‘Share Food Feed Happiness’?
“This is the ideology upon which Rizq is working, as the food distributed among the deserving families is the surplus food which is shared by people who do not manage to eat it, thus it acts as a source of happiness for the people who eat it.
So by sharing food, you actually feed happiness. ”
How can we contribute towards Rizq?
“You can contribute by giving us your time which is the most valuable thing someone can give, as we are in a stage of massive growth we need experts from every field, such as health, nutrition, logistics, marketing, pr, and moreover we are in the process of making the first excess food restaurant in Pakistan and for that we need funding to build up the infrastructure along with the system for effective channelization of food resources, so you can help us monetarily too. ”
Call to action?
“Rizq bachao, Bhook mitao.”
We wish the Rizq team best of luck in their efforts to channelise food to appropriate insecure households and minimize wastage.
MediaBites Editorial- Zahra Khan
Pakistan First Media And Brand Website.
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