People Feeding People (PFP) – India’s Inflation and Food Insecurity

Hello, Namaste and Tashi delek from India.

A month of posting was missed due to technical difficulties so I apologize for the delay.

On June 26th the monthly distribution was made to the 20 families sponsored by PFP.  I would like to thank all the PFP members who continue to make compassionate contributions for those in need; as well, I would like to thank the Tibetan Organic Farmers for their work in distributing the rice each month.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As we prepare for the July delivery I would like to provide you with recent data regarding food insecurity, mal-nutrition and issues of inflation of food costs in India over the last decade.

Poverty and Food Insecurity in India:

According to the World Bank, India is the second most populous country in the world with approximately 1.22 billion people.

In 2010, the World Bank estimated India’s population to have 32.7% below the International Poverty Line of $ 1.25 per day purchasing power parity (PPP) and 68.7% live on less than $2.00 per day.  India’s poverty line however is much less than the International Poverty Line and was recently lowered to Rs 28 (rupees) per day; depending on the currency rate exchange Rs 28 is approximately $ .56 per day.

Additionally, the 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) provided by the International Food and Policy Research Institute identifies India to have SERIOUS levels of hunger; classified as ALARMING. The highest GHI is found in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. A concern at this time is how the rising costs of food will impact the poor in India because the data provided in the 2011 Hunger Index does not include data beyond 2005. This is a concern as the inflation of food costs in India more than tripled since 2004.

May 28, 2012 the Times of India published a graph comparing India’s rising food costs.

Items May ’04-’09 May ’09- April ’12
Food Articles 44 45.6
Cereals 59 18.4
Pulses 66.8 27.4
Vegetables 52.9 68.3
Fruits 31.9 31.9
Milk 34.7 51.3
Egg, Meat, Fish 25.1 80.7
IMFL: Blend 16.8 80.7

Cereals, pulses, milk, fruit, eggs, and meat doubled in price. Dairy, salt, and sugar increased by 75%. Most alarming is the rising cost of nutritional vegetables which are 3 times more expensive and have tripled in cost. The greatest inflation is seen in the last three years from May 2009-April 2012 more so than in the five year period of 2004-2009.

As mentioned above, this is relative in that with the rising food costs the hunger index is yet to report any factors related to inflation at this time since the data was collected prior to 2005.

India is reported to have very high levels of mal-nutrition. A recent article in the Times of India reported percentages of underweight, undernourished, and hunger deaths under 5 years of age. The work of PFP is reaching some of those who are noted in the report. Karnataka State is listed as the second state to have the highest percentage of undernourished, listed at 28.1 % of the states’ population. Karnataka is also listed as the fifth highest in underweight at 37.6% and the fifth highest state for deaths associated with child hunger; 5.5% of children under the age of five die from hunger.

In an effort to ensure we are reaching those who are within the category of the GHI, we assessed PFP recipient families to establish if they fall under this category of ALARMING and below the International Poverty Line.

Community Assessment Results:

Sample Population: Recipient Families: n=15 a mean (average) 5.13 persons to each household; there are 77 individuals in the Bus Stand Community. An additional 5 families have yet to be assessed.  The median monthly income of the community is Rs 1500 (approx. $30.00) which is approximately $1.00 a day; therefore, the community certainly falls below the International Poverty Line of $1.25 per day (PPP) and is recognized as those who are most likely to have food insecurity and are at health risk of underweight, undernourished, and at risk of child hunger deaths.

In the assessment of the families we discovered that for most families 100% of their monthly income goes for food and at least half of the families ration the food supplies they have, often experiencing occasional days with little to no food.

The questionnaire asked the families what is the most difficult situation your family faces and the top three responses were 1) Not enough money to feed the children regular healthy meals 2) poor housing conditions with no water and no electricity 3) and health complications.

In January 2012, PFP started consistent deliveries of 25 kg (55 pound) bags of rice to 20 families reaching 102 individuals monthly. The 25 kg bag of rice costs Rs 700 (approx $15.00) which is a 2 week supply of a staple food item. The cost of the 25 kg bag of rice is more than half of the monthly income for most the families. The families qualify for the Indian Ration Card which provides discounted food prices but they are only allotted monthly a 2 week supply of food at distributor prices.

People Feeding People assists families with the staple food item (rice) allowing them the opportunity to purchase more nutritional foods like pulses, vegetables and proteins such as meat and dairy. Additionally, the rice they are provided is Tibetan Organic Rice which is a higher quality of rice with more nutritional value than the basic rice they are able to purchase on the Indian Ration Card. Our goal is to provide ongoing assistance to the families in an effort to address hunger and health complications by offering the families the opportunity to increase their purchasing power for nutritional foods. Additionally, we aim to develop Phase II of the program which will implement a self reliance model teaching the community how to grow their own vegetables in sack gardens; a model which has proven to be results oriented in Africa.

PFP would like to continue the commitment to the families in the bus stand community as well as the five families chosen by the Tibetan community. At this time we have kept the commitment minimal to only 20 families as we work towards a sustainable project with proper funding to continue the future development of the program. As with all social work projects we aim for a sustainable project which will be completely self reliant run by the Tibetan Organic Farmers in the future; although, in the development of the full mission to establish self reliance much outside assistance is needed.

PFP is looking for monthly sponsors for families. For only $15.00 a month or $180.00 a year you too can make a difference in the lives of others who suffer from the difficulties of extreme poverty, hunger and lack of resources. If you are interested in sponsoring a family, please send an email to  or send a comment to this blog and I will contact you in a private message. I have compiled family profiles and each month we will feature a family until all the families have been sponsored. Thank you for your consideration for family sponsorship of only $.50 a day/ $15.00 a month.

In addition to providing for those who have food insecurity and hunger the PFP Outreach assists Tibetan Organic Farmers with an economic development opportunity to offset losses they experience due to the slow growth of the organic market in India. I have no data on the Tibetan Organic Farming community with regards to their annual income but have been told of the concerns from the Tibetan agricultural officers of how climate change and slow development of the organic market continues to create economic hardships for the organic farmers.

At this time we are perceived as a consumer, purchasing Tibetan rice from the Organic Retail shop in Mundgod.  Currently in India the distributors pay Rs 11 ($ .22) per kg. PFP purchases Tibetan Organic rice directly from the Tibetan Organic Farmers at a fairer market value of Rs 28 ($ .56), offering an increased economic benefit to the farmers.

In the past months I have had many discussions with the Tibetan agriculture officers about sponsored greenhouses for the Tibetan Organic Farmers to provide a secure secondary source of income which would not be at risk of climate change and would truly fit the model of an economic development plan for the Tibetan Organic Farmers. Unfortunately, the development of Phase II- Sponsored Greenhouses has been very slow. I lack the expertise in greenhouse construction and cultivation. We are in need of a cost estimate for construction of the greenhouses in the Mundgod, Karnataka climate for year round growing as well we are in need of a greenhouse cultivation plan. This information is critical to the development of Phase II for funding purposes and for outcome analysis. At this time the Tibetan Agricultural Officers have not supplied me with the details due to their heavy work schedules. I am requesting any assistance offered from those who may have knowledge in this area. I will provide you research materials I have located online which offer an example of the documents needed to provide funders for the sponsored greenhouses. We currently have a funder interested in supporting the first pilot program but the details are necessary for implementation. If you or someone you know is interested and has knowledge of organic greenhouse gardening please contact me at

My time in India is soon coming to a close therefore, timing is critical if we plan to implement Phase II and further the ongoing support to the Tibetan Organic Farmers.

Thank you all for your continued support to People Feeding People and Pennies for Partnerships. Your compassion and generosity is appreciated and please keep in mind sharing is caring. We ask for your assistance in spreading the blog post to your social networks on FB, Twitter and any additional ways you can help spread the word throughout the International Community.

We are open to any and all suggestions as well as any energy you have to give in the development of the grassroots project People Feeding People. If you are interested and have ideas it does not take only monetary giving to make a difference in others lives. Your creative ideas and energy are always welcome.

To date your compassion giving has resulted in the purchase and distribution of 320 bags of rice = 8000 kg or 17,600 pounds which is 8+ tons of rice. There are more families in the area we would like to reach beyond the 20 families we are currently serving. With your assistance we can expand our program to reach more people in need.

In keeping with the PFP model please remember a little giving goes a long way. To donate please see the PayPal button on the left or visit our official 501c3 nonprofit organization TCIA at:

If you prefer to donate by check please denote donation is for PFP and mail to:

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas, Inc. – PFP
PO Box 269
Fayetteville, AR 72702-0269 USA

Thank you sincerely for the opportunity to be your messenger of giving.

Kind regards,

Leann Halsey (MSW)

Director of PFP

Tibetan Cultural Institute of Arkansas (TCIA)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: