Business

Lunch Box: Eating to help underprivileged children

By Uwin Lugoda

Sri Lanka is still experiencing the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that has had devastating effects in virtually every corner of the economy; this includes on the CSR (corporate social responsibility) of many companies too.

However, “Myfriend Foundation”, which is focused on improving the lives of children in underprivileged schools, has found ways to support itself and keep helping the cause. The latest initiative of the foundation, “Lunch Box”, is set to fund the organisation through the sale and delivery of hygienic, freshly prepared lunch boxes, Monday through Saturday.

“Priced at Rs. 190, the (contents of the) lunch boxes differ each day and consist of handpicked vegetables, cooked in a hygienic environment, and the profits go to underprivileged children,” said leading menswear and fashion brand Hameedias Managing Director and Myfriend Foundation Co-founder Fouzul Hameed.

First founded in 2013 by Hameed, the Myfriend Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation with the basic aim to serve the children of underprivileged schools and also to work for the benefit of society as a whole.

Given the current situation, Hameed and the Foundation have looked at ways to keep it active through the outbreak; first establishing a “food bank project” together with Hameedia. This was a platform for the sale of vegetables, where all profits were used towards the academic requirements of underprivileged children.

Speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, Hameed explained that he came up with the idea after seeing the increased demand for food during the lockdown. He stated that after seeing his neighbours and other underprivileged people suffering, he went to a wholesale market, bought a lorry full of food items, and distributed these to thousands of people.

“From this I learnt that food is more important than anything else, so I decided to start a food bank and sell vegetables online, and use the profits to fund the Myfriend Foundation.”

The food bank is also set to help farmers across Sri Lanka suffering from the negative impact Covid-19 has had on the local economy, by purchasing fresh vegetables from these farmers and reselling it at affordable prices. Again, all the profits go towards supporting the education of underprivileged children.

Furthermore, Hameedia as an organisation is also encouraging the public to grow vegetables at home wherever possible, since this too helps to make a significant change at the domestic level.