The COVID-19 pandemic is quickly shaping up to be one of the defining events of our era. It has already affected the world on almost every level, from postponing international political action and changing policies to costing millions of individuals their jobs and lives. Unfortunately, it is the most vulnerable that have suffered the most.

The sick, the homeless, the poor - these are the groups that are most heavily and most negatively impacted at the moment. And although everyone is undoubtedly suffering from the effects of the pandemic, it is the responsibility of those in comparatively better positions to help as much as they can. Successful businesses, in particular, can be the driving force behind crisis recovery by supporting local communities during the pandemic. One of the ways to do that is by ensuring that no person goes hungry during these tough times.

Eradicating Hunger While Supporting Local Communities in Pandemic

The COVID-19 health crisis has affected communities and individuals the world over in very different ways and growing hunger among those in the hunger hotspots is becoming a major concern. A combination of factors, including pre-existing conditions in the country, government response, population density, and more, have ensured that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to helping those negatively impacted. But that only makes it more pertinent for local actors to try. We know better than anyone the problems that our own communities face. So it's essential for businesses and organizations that understand the hardships of the local population and join hands with private and government agencies to solve major problems, such as feeding the hungry.

Raising Public Awareness about the Spread of the Virus

One of the easiest yet most effective ways to help local communities fight the spread of the virus is to educate them on the best ways to avoid infection. Local businesses can post signs about the importance of wearing face masks and proper techniques of handwashing. Companies like Digital Dot New York, who are experts in social media and online marketing, can help spread the message in the virtual sphere. Community leaders and educators can use their positions within the community to ensure that the information about the virus is taken seriously. The saying that knowledge is power holds true here: the more we know about COVID-19 and how it spreads, the better we are at fighting it.

Donating to Local Hospitals and Medical Centers

Hospitals and other medical centers have been struggling to keep up with the rate of infection. In rural and low-income areas especially, many of them are overrun by the sheer number of patients. Without beds, staff, and equipment, they are unable to help those suffering from both coronavirus and other medical issues. Direct financial assistance can be incredibly helpful in these situations. A donation from a local business can sometimes be what keeps the lights on and the medication cabinets full.

Manufacturing and Distributing PPE

There is no denying that corporate social responsibility is an essential part of business today. But it can take many different forms. Manufacturing and textile businesses, for example, are in a unique position to help local communities during this pandemic. Instead of donating or spreading the word, they can make and distribute the much-needed personal protective equipment to medical staff and residents. This can have a significant impact on lowering the rate of infections among both frontline workers and the general population.

Delivering Food to the Impoverished

Although everyone is undoubtedly affected by the ongoing crisis, it is the poorest that suffer most. More than 700 million people lived below the poverty line in 2015. Many of them had no roof over their heads and didn't know where their next meal would come from. That is a difficult position, even when there isn't a global pandemic to contend with. So it is crucial now more than ever to help those most underprivileged and vulnerable in our communities. For this reason, in countries all over the world, food donations for the food-insecure have been organized during the pandemic. Everyone from individuals who like to cook to restaurants with too many leftovers has been helping to make sure that no one goes hungry during this time.

How Valliappa Foundation is Supporting Local Communities Today?

The Valliappa Foundation has always been about raising and improving our community. We take our corporate social responsibility initiatives very seriously. With CSR in the age of COVID-19 proving to be critical, we have launched a new project to help eradicate hunger through technological innovation and advances. The Anadhanam digital platform will connect various actors to streamline the process of redistributing food between those who have too much of it and those who don't have enough.

The Anadhanam Digital Platform and Ending Hunger

The idea behind the Anadhanam platform is to solve two problems:

  • Hunger in the most impoverished communities in India and
  • Food waste in the service and tourism industries

We plan to do this through modern technology that connects different people in the food recycling and redistribution chain.

How Does it Work?

Let's look at the problem first: right now, almost 10% of the world's population lives in poverty. At the same time, more than 1 billion tons of food is wasted every year. That is more than enough to feed the 820 million people who go hungry four times over. But the solution is not as simple as letting everyone take leftovers from restaurants whenever they want. There needs to be a system in place, ensuring that those in need receive the food from those who have enough to give away. This, however, requires multiple individuals and organizations to work together. And finding the right partner in this endeavor is not always easy. This is where Anadhanam comes in.

By using Anadhanam, an NGO interested in ending hunger can connect with donors, businesses, and volunteers. All it takes is a quick online registration. Your NGO Admin Dashboard allows you to track donor registrations and payments, supplier and volunteer registrations (from hotels, restaurants, community kitchens, and corporate canteens to food quality controllers and drivers), received food and its quality, delivery schedules and transactions, and more. From there, you can easily organize and run the redistribution of food from suppliers to consumers. The end goal is to feed the poor in hunger hotspots like orphanages, nursing homes, and slums.

The importance of supporting local communities during the pandemic

The spread of COVID-19 has affected the entire world in a myriad of ways. Hundreds of thousands have already died, and many more have suffered in other ways. Unemployment, homelessness, bankruptcy, and food insecurity are all on the rise due to the pandemic. No one person or even group is capable of fighting this alone. Instead, we must work together to find solutions that benefit us all. Therefore, supporting local communities during the pandemic should be a priority for all businesses, unions, and organizations. Only together can we find a way out of the current crisis and towards recovery. Until we are able to do so, the world cannot go back to normal.