The Taste of Hunger

Covid19, besides affecting healthy lives, spreads the devastating economic impact as well. A few days after the lockdown which began on March 23rd, many poor families were on the verge of running out of food-stocks. Unemployed, no income, no cash in hand, little or no savings to dip into. Not skilled for work from home. No pensions. Some long way from home as guest workers. Many in debt. This had a direct impact on impact diet-choices and diet-quality. So, how did they survive? 

To understand this, OSF carried out a dip-stick survey among a sample of the needy beneficiary households. The study among 80 HHs, revealed interesting facts on how they managed their kitchen. An average household size was 5 with 2 children in each family. 

Findings from OSF Survey

OSF checked the consumption patterns of a basket of 10 normal items (rice, wheat, vegetables, dal/lentils, egg, chicken/fish/mutton, milk and hot beverages, snacks and biscuits, masala and spices). Here are the findings:

1.Beneficiary homes were avoiding certain food items during the lockdown

How were the beneficiaries constrained during the lockdown and what was their experience. Here is a snapshot: out of the 10 items checked, they could afford just 2 items in normal amounts. Another 3 items in limited  quantities. They relied mostly on the staple diets (rice/wheat) and dal. In this situation, the supply of OSF Ration kits, offered them a more wholesome, nutritious and healthy diet-choices for 2 to 3 weeks.

Food Consumption: Pre & Post Lockdown
Food Items Checked: 10
Consumed regularly before lockdown: 7
At lockdown: 5
Low-volumes: 3
Normal: 2

2. Beneficiary homes reduced food intake..

The survey revealed that a large proportion of households were consuming less-than-normal quantities, exposing them to lower energy levels and immunity risks. Providing the food-kits was therefore, a timely help.

You cared! Your donations made a differencE 

The relief work sustained about 17,000 people, giving them a choice of healthy food resources. The situation was definitely not favourable for anyone, but despite that, you chose to make a significant difference. The beneficiaries have conveyed their deep sense of gratitude.

The findings mirror other larger survey results. A Livemint article of 10th Aug 2020 titled “Lockdown impact: Rural survey paints a grim picture”, which quotes Gaon Connection CSDS study says: “On the hunger situation, the survey found that about 35% families went without food the whole day either many times or sometimes, 38% skipped an entire meal in a day several times or sometimes, and 46% reduced a few items from their meal often or sometimes”.