Woman sees hungry people and d

Woman sees hungry people and decides to make a change

On her late night walks home from cleaning her new restaurant, Minu Pauline was struck by how often she’d see homeless and hungry people searching her garbage for a meal.

Woman sees hungry people and d

“I have seen so many people… taking food from the trash bin, so it was a shocking thing for me,” said Pauline.

It forced Pauline, who left her bank job, to open Pappadavada in her hometown of Kochi, India in 2013 to think about how much food she herself threw out, not only from her restaurant, but also in her daily life.

Three years later, Pauline opened a second location of her restaurant with one major addition: she put a fully functional refrigerator out front, and stocked it with food.

Pauline, her customers, and others from the community, leave their leftovers, marked with the date inside the refrigerator, and homeless and hungry people can take whatever they need at any time of day.

Pauline nicknamed the fridge “nanma maram,” which means “tree of goodness” or “virtue tree.” The fridge is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The refrigerator stays unlocked, allowing hungry people to take what they need without the shame of having to beg. “They don’t have to ask anybody,” explained Pauline.

Pauline said the fridge has been a huge hit so far and many in her local area have already started contributing their leftovers. She emphasises that food for the refrigerator should always be left over.

According to Pauline, people stock between 200 and 300 packets (or portions) of food per day in the fridge and, typically, whatever is there in the morning is gone by the evening.

Rather than give to charity, she explained that setting up the fridge was a chance for her to give back the way she knows best.

While Pauline knows her small outdoor fridge won’t solve world hunger overnight, she believes it can make a huge difference for a few in need, while combatting waste at the same time.