Danish Memon, 29 and Ubaid Memon, 28, have been friends since their school days and share a love for food as well as an awareness of just how much of it goes to waste every day in Pakistan.

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), about 36 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in Pakistan. This despite the fact that 43 percent of the country's population remains food insecure, and 18 percent suffers from a severe food shortage.

It is with these shocking statistics in mind that the two Hyderabad friends decided to work together to find ways they could route unwanted food to those who needed it the most. Their discussions ultimately led to the creation of the Food Saver mobile app in 2018. But the app required the support of restaurants, which were needed to donate their surplus food.

It was not an easy journey; Danish recalls the restaurants did not initially respond positively to the idea. 'They [owners] thought we would sell the surplus food,' he says.

Two friends in Hyderabad have teamed up with restaurants to offer surplus food to families that cannot afford it

'One night we received a phone call from the owner of Roopa Marri restaurant, Najeeb Soomro. He told us they had plenty of food left over from a wedding [that he was willing to give us]. It was enough to feed 500 people, and became the first meal we fed to hungry people in the slum areas of Qasimabad. We packed the food in plastic bags till dawn,' he recalls, adding that Soomro was the first to show interest in their initiative.

After that first successful intervention, Danish and Ubaid began to receive a decent response from other restaurants and hotels in Hyderabad as well. They decided to promote Food Saver and enlisted the services of Sindhi comedian, TV artist and YouTuber Asghar Khoso. They made a short film with him about their food service, highlighting the importance of surplus food, which raised Food Saver's profile in Hyderabad.

'Our short film went so viral that our phones were buzzing round the clock, as people were trying to approach us to donate surplus food from their homes and hotels,' says Ubaid. 'Then we decided to create a page for Food Saver and uploaded it on social media platforms.'

The response this time was far more positive.

'Once we received a call from a restaurant [about their surplus food] and our team rushed there, but the amount exceeded our expectations,' recalls Ubaid. 'We spent hours and hours packing the food from cauldrons into...

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