KARACHI: Being a nation of agricultural abundance, food insecurity continues to be a major challenge across Pakistan. Cargill and Rizq Trust have come together with the shared goal of ending hunger across Pakistan by setting up a food bank network.
A ground breaking ceremony was held Wednesday for the first ever Cargill Rizq Bank, in Lyari, Karachi, one of the largest food insecure communities in Pakistan.
The Rizq Cargill ecosystem will work to create a food secure Lyari, reduce food wastage and will be able to serve about 200,000 meals in the community, annually.
The Rizq Bank will offer four key services to help eradicate food insecurity and end hunger in slum communities across the country. This includes Rizq Daig, distribution of food within the community, Rizq Ration, identifying and delivering monthly food supplies to food insecure families and establishing a community centre, Rizq Bachao, collecting, storing and distributing excess food to low-income families and Rizq Future Generation Program, mobilizing youth from schools and universities to support activities of zero waste and zero hunger.
This model once established in Lyari, Karachi will also be replicated at key locations across the nation through this partnership. This will serve as a blueprint for stakeholders in the food ecosystem to come together and create self-sustaining communities.
In phase two, the program will progress towards setting up the Rizq Xchange, which is a collaborative that will mobilize resources through a network of Rizq Banks. The Rizq Xchange is enabled by Share Rizq platform, cloud-food banking technology that connects people who want to donate food with distributors that are giving food to beneficiaries in real time.
Advancing its corporate purpose of nourishing communities in a safe, responsible and sustainable way, Cargill has contributed seed funding and will assist Rizq with technical advisory services to efficiently create and run the food bank operations. Cargill employees will also engage as volunteers at the Cargill Rizq Bank. Rizq will manage the on-ground deployment and operations of this innovative model. They will also provide the overall strategy for deployment of the Cargill Rizq Bank and Rizq Xchange as part of this initiative. “Around 100 million people in Pakistan continue to face food insecurity, which is about 50 percent of the total population. Being an agriculturally resource-rich country, such prevalence of hunger is unnecessary and unacceptable. This initiative is inline with our global commitment to fight hunger and curb the menace of malnutrition in countries where we operate. We are proud to partner with Rizq or this initiative and take this mission forward,” said Imran Nasrullah, country president, Cargill Pakistan.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021