We’ve heard the story before: restaurants and supermarkets across the world are throwing out their perfectly good leftover food or unwanted produce, and hungry patrons dive into dumpsters to retrieve it. When Minu Pauline, manager of the popular restaurant Pappadavada in India, witnessed a homeless woman searching in a trashcan for food, she knew she had to help remedy this global problem in some way.
Her innovative solution? Placing a refrigerator right outside of her eatery and filling it with leftover food from her restaurant!
Pauline, who has nicknamed the fridge “tree of goodness,” hopes it will help people who are in need of a meal. And so far, it has!
The fridge is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and has had food flying off the shelves since its inception.
Pauline, who restocks the fridge with around 75 to 80 portions of food per day, isn’t the only one contributing to the project either. Patrons dining at the restaurants nearby Pappadavada, as well as local community members, have stumbled upon the fridge and decided to donate some leftover food as well.
“Money is yours but resources belong to society,” she told HuffPost. “That’s the message I want to send out. If you’re wasting your money, it’s your money, but you’re wasting the society’s resources. Don’t waste the resource, don’t waste the food.”
Considering that in the U.S we waste around 60 million metric tons of food every year, and globally we throw out almost 1.3 billion tons, food waste is a monumental problem that obviously can’t be solved overnight. Thankfully, as awareness grows, more people are realizing that their everyday actions and decisions can have an incredible impact. Food waste not only is an ill use of valuable resources that can be going to the hungry, but it’s detrimental to the environment. The U.N reports that food waste alone accounts for 3.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year!
While there are definitely strides to be made in overcoming the global food waste problem, we must remember to not be intimidated by the gravity of this problem. Small successes, like Pauline’s refrigerator idea, do have an impact. It’s amazing how much good can be done when just one person decides to take action!
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