Restaurants pay a high price to offer their customers’ convenience. They have to stock all of the ingredients they need to make everything on their menus. And then they have to prep a lot of food so they can serve the food as soon as possible after their customers place their orders. And then there are all of the leftovers. So a lot of it goes to waste, even when a restaurant tries its best not to throw out a lot of food. Now, one restaurant owner in Kochi, India has come up with a brilliant solution. After Minu Pauline saw homeless people eating food out of one of her trash cans, she decided to put a refrigerator on the street and stock it with leftovers from her restaurant, Pappadavada, so they had access to clean, fresh food. Anyone is welcome to the food 24 hours a day. And the idea is catching on. Patrons of Pappadavada and other restaurants have begun adding to the 75-80 meals that Minu leaves in the fridge each day. “Money is yours,” she told the Huffington Post. “But resources belong to society. That’s the message I want to send out. If you’re wasting your money… you’re wasting society’s resources.”
Minu’s restaurant, Pappadavada, which opened about three years ago, specializes in appams (South Indian pancakes), egg curry, and pappadavadas (papadum dipped in a rice batter and then fried). But 28-year-old Minu wanted to feed more people that just her customers.
“I have often seen the homeless and the hungry, especially the aged, rummage through garbage scouring for food. Looking for some leftovers or stale food to quell their hunger, and it disturbs me,” Minu told The Hindu.
Minu’s solution was brilliant. She installed a refrigerator outside of her restaurant. “Someone asked me why I bothered to set up a fridge, when I could just put food out for people in a tray. But that is the whole point of installing a fridge—so food won’t spoil.”
The fridge is open to everyone 24/7. Anybody is welcome to help themselves to the food, and people are also encouraged to donate food, as well. Minu’s only condition is that the food be neatly packed and marked with the date that it’s been donated so that all of the food in the fridge is fresh.
Minu discourages people from buying food from her shop to leave in the fridge. “That’s not at all my aim; I don’t want to make money out of this. This is not a campaign to make people invest more in charity; the idea is to use what you already have, to donate the food that you might waste.”
What an amazing idea! I really hope it catches on. To help spread the word and to thank Minu for her generosity, please share this article with all of your Facebook friends!
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