The Robin Hood Army (RHA) first cropped up in India in 2014, led by Neel Ghose who took inspiration from a similar programme in Portugal called “Re-food”. The goal was to make sure that food which might otherwise be wasted or not utilized at restaurants was picked up and distributed to those in need of it.

This initiative was picked up by a friend of Ghose’s, Sarah Afridi, and kickstarted here in Pakistan in 2015, initially in Karachi.

A collaboration such as this goes to show that there is no boundary that is uncrossable.

Robin Hood Army
Source: HuffingtonPost

The main principle of the organization is to work together with various restaurants in the gathering of surplus food; on August 14th, 2015, the RHA was able to feed close to 6000 people in Karachi and about 500 in Lahore. This was a great achievement seeing as it only began operating in February of the same year.

The volunteers at RHA work hard. They not only collect surplus food from restaurants but also try to make sure the heaps of food leftover at the end of weddings and events are not wasted. Throughout the week, the volunteers drive around cities to look for new locations where mini-communities of the needy may be situated so they can distribute food as widely as possible.

The leader of the RHA in Lahore, Sameer Beg says it is ‘only passion’ that drives the team to wake up at 6 am every day, warm the food, and set out to distribute it in the blistering heat. For Sameer, it has been an ‘amazing journey’ up till now, and he says the rewards are immense; the happiness and excitement are apparent on the faces of the people the RHA feeds, especially the children.

Founder Sarah Afridi explains that the RHA aims to ‘make society better’ by ‘bridging the gap between those who are fortunate and those who are not’. Looking at the involvement and enthusiasm of the volunteers, it is clear that the RHA is, in fact, accomplishing this goal.

The RHA tries to be as interactive as possible; it welcomes participation and food donations.

Don’t hesitate to help out!

The RHA points out that the issue in Pakistan is not the availability of food, but accessibility. The food left over at high-end restaurants is more often than not wasted at the end of the day. This means valuable resources that could hugely benefit the needy simply go to waste because of lack of accessibility. This is the issue that the RHA aims to resolve.

Our question is, what are you willing to do about it?


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