An Indian Restaurateur Invented a Brilliant Way to Feed Those in Need

By Justine Sterling Posted March 31, 2016

Why didn't anyone think of this before?

Your doggy bag full of leftover enchiladas or sweet potato fries could make a great midnight snack—but a restaurant in Kochi, India has come up with a much better use for it. Minu Pauline has set up a fridge outside of her restaurant, Pappadavada, explicitly for customers to stock with their donated leftovers (marked with the date), which are available for free to whoever is hungry and in need, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Pauline first got the idea when she saw a woman searching for food in a trashcan one night and realized how much food the restaurant had produced. There would certainly have been enough leftover that she could have given to the woman. So she figured out a way to avoid waste and feed the needy: a public fridge. “Money is yours but resources belong to society,” Pauline told the Huffington Post. “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.”

Nicknamed nanma maram (tree of goodness), the fridge has proven to be a huge success. And even with the large amount of donations of excess food from the restaurants customers and the rest of the community, Pauline has had to restock it herself with around 75 to 80 portions of food every day, just to keep up with the demand.

A street full of food donation fridges rather than trashcans? It could work…

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