Our Story

India went into an unprecedented lockdown on March 25, 2020 to combat the COVID-19. Though, on one hand, it was touted as an unavoidable measure to curb the effect of pandemic, on the other hand it led to a vast scale of job loss and we saw an immense exodus of migrant labourers from the big cities. Along with the government-led measures, various NGOs, citizen groups and individuals came out to help fellow citizens in this period of crisis. URHope, an online portal was one such effort.

The idea of URHope germinated after some students and alumni of IIT Bombay along with their friends came together to build an online platform to simplify the access to various relief programs being run in the wake of Covid19. The team put together a database of the govt. initiated relief measures in the wake of Covid across the states and UTs till district level in the areas of food, shelter, health, e-pass etc. and a platform was envisioned and built to connect the help seekers with the help providers (Govt. initiatives/NGOs/groups/individuals) in various sectors, food being one of that.

After contributing immensely, URHope's original team dismantled. The three members, Priya Sharma (PhD scholar at IIT Bombay), Aashita Swamy (Mechatronics Engineering student at Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan) and Pravesh Mehta (pharmacy undergraduate at Dr. DY Patil IPSR Pune), though stayed behind to take the platform ahead under the leadership of Priya and joined hands with FoodBank. FoodBank was started originally in Bali, Indonesia by Max Bratsun to build a platform for all food related NGOs in Bali. Amritesh Srivastava (Software Engineer, Booking.com) had helped build the portal and after the platform reached maturity, he decided to launch it in India. He joined hands with URHope to merge the online platform of FoodBank with the team and network of URHope. This coming together of URHope and FoodBank to connect the help seekers with the help providers led to the formation of URHope-FoodBank in July 2020.

Given the vast network that Priya had already built through her other initiative, a migrant travel project "Mission Aahan Vaahan" (https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.indiatoday.in/amp/education-today/news/story/national-law-school-iit-bombay-join-hands-to-fly-migrants-homes-1683584-2020-05-30 ) which assisted 1000s of migrants to reach back home safely, URHope-Foodbank started with collaborating with the organisations already involved in giving out ration kits across various cities.

We, at URHope-Foodbank invite you to be on board either as a volunteer (to help manage the portal, its social media or for resolving cases directly), as a food partner in providing ration kits to the ones in need or as a donor where you don't donate to us, but, pledge a ration kit and pay directly for the kit when the need arises.

How we work?

1) Once we get a help request via our official WhatsApp no +91 80854 18279 or online form (https://india.foodbank.co/help), our volunteers assess the urgency of the need. If possible we try to resolve the case at the level of ration card by taking help from the respective state's/district's govt websites or any officials we are directly in touch with. Making people aware of their rights and entitlement under the PDS scheme and assisting them in understanding the process of applying, renewing, adding more members in their ration card, wherever applicable, is a part of this process to get people in the system for the long term benefit.

2) If a case is not resolved via 1) we reach out to our partner organisations in a particular state who then provide a ration kit. If the organisations are overburdened/lack resources or we don’t have an organisation in that area we reach out to the donors.

3) Our donations work in the way of pledging kits. So donors don’t donate to us, rather whenever we are in a situation where the matter is not resolved via govt schemes or organizations, then we turn to donors and we keep this to minimal. The donor then directly pays to the nearby grocer after seeing the bill. The standard ration kit for a family of 5-6 is of 600/-.

4) Besides this, URHope-FoodBank also works as a platform to connect food related NGOs to donors, volunteers and help seekers directly. On our Foodmap, we show donation links of all food NGOs along with other important information. NGOs/food initiatives also reach out to us if they need volunteers. For connecting to help seekers directly, we have built a platform where NGOs/food initiatives or even individual help providers can view all open help requests and choose to help them. Our volunteers assist them in the process

Our Team

We are a group of enthusiasts ranging from students to working professionals who, though located in different geographical parts of the world, are connected through our passion towards the issues of Social Justice.

If you are interested to be a part of the team and support them, please fill this form and we will get back to you.

Due credit and recognition for the efforts to contributors.

Amritesh Srivastava 
URHope-Foodbank Lead
Amritesh is the project lead for Indian chapter of Foodbank and collaboration with URHope.
IIT Delhi, Software Developer

Priya Sharma
Priya Sharma
URHope-Foodbank Lead
Priya is currently pursuing her PhD at IIT Bombay where she is looking at the regulation aspect of Indian surrogacy through a feminist philosophical lens. She is leading URHope-Foodbank collaboration with Amritesh Srivastava. Being already involved with the social justice issues on campus and beyond, Priya has initiated multiple relief projects in this pandemic, URHope-Foodbank being one of them. She remains hopeful to contribute in building a more caring world.
Priyanshu Bajpai
Head - Program & Product Management
Priyanshu oversees the management of the URHope-FoodBank's roadmap to grow it as a platform.
He works closely with the Tech, Marketing and Operations Depts. within UrHope-Foodbank for feature delivery and enhancements.

[email protected], BITS-Pilani

Content writer and Social media manager
Divya has an MBA in Marketing & has over 6 years of experience as a content creator, blogger & social media marketer. She is working as the content writer & social media manager for URHope-Foodbank.
Social Media Management and Marketing
Aditya is a photographer and an environmentalist by heart. Currently, he is pursuing electronics engineering from Mumbai University and is an MBA aspirant. He is actively involved with the social media management and marketing team at URHope-Foodbank.
Ananya Jain
Operations Volunteer
A Junior at BITS Pilani. Striving towards being a committed and empathetic Hindustani. One initiative at a time.
Kundan Khare
Operations Volunteer
Kundan works as a design engineer at Mahle, Pune. He is passionate about cars, bikes, health & fitness, science and politics. These things keep him busy during majority of his free time.
Akshita Bhardwaj
Operations Volunteer
Akshita is currently pursuing her B.Tech in Mechatronics (3rd year) from Banasthali Vidyapeeth, Jaipur. What excites her the most in volunteering with URHope- FoodBank is the joy of working with many like-minded people for a cause they all believe in, the satisfaction of having helped someone in the need, and most importantly sharing hope amongst them.
Harshda Saxena
Operations Volunteer
Harshda (she/her) is a sophomore in Engineering Physics at IITB. She love reading books, playing sports (basketball, badminton and others) and tries to help out in any small way that she can :)
Sonali  Mehta
Operations Volunteer 
"Poverty devastates familes, communities and nations" and it is this devastation that we need to get rid off completely is the idea beheld by Sonali. Sonali is currently working in Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs. She has completed her M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Her passion lies in creating access to the basic amenities for every living being. She is connected to various Non-Profit Organisations and her vision is to provide the best of all resources to the generations to come.
Shatabdi Singh
Operations Volunteer
Shatabdi is pursuing Arts at Banasthli Vidyapeeth, Jaipur. She is an NCC cadet, a sportsperson, have a keen interest in cooking (experiments with delicacies from all around the world and give it her own twist), she likes to write short poems, quotes and thoughts. With URHope-Foodbank she has found the most satisfying opportunity to help others as a small initiative may lead to a big change.
Pravesh Mehta
Having completed his Diploma in pharmacy from NMIMS Mumbai, Pravesh is currently an undergraduate student at Dr. DY PATIL IPSR Pune. He has done rigorous research in Parkinson's disease and Drug delivery and this practical experience has proven useful in honing his skills of collecting, sifting, and managing data, thus, helping people access authentic information.
Max Bratsun
Founder of FoodBank.co Bali Chapter