Authorities and some restaurants in Shanghai's Putuo District have set up shared refrigerators in various public spaces. The refrigerators look to serve the disabled and elderly in getting free leftovers. The initiative also aims to reduce the amount of waste at restaurants.
Shanghai sets up shared refrigerators to provide free leftovers
Mr. Wang got some free cake from a community refrigerator this morning in Changshou compound. He says it's convenient.
"I like this idea. I can't walk normally due to a stroke. Now I don't have to go far for food or spend too much thanks to the community refrigerator," he said.
"The locals come as soon as we open at 8:30 am. Most of them are in their 70s or 80s," said Peng Hongjun, volunteer, New Puxiong Community in Putuo District.
Suppliers put about 30 boxes of food in the refrigerator every time. They include half-cooked dishes, milk and cake. And more food is added in the afternoon. There's no limit of how much food one person can get. The food is often all gone within ten minutes of the refrigerator opening in the morning.
"Old people living alone and disabled people in our community get the food. But many people living in neighboring compounds also come to take the food," said Zhang Jing, Puxiong Community in Putuo District.
The manager of another shared refrigerator on Xikang Road often persuades people not to take more than they need to avoid waste.
"We have many restaurants in the area. We are talking with them, persuading more restaurants to provide food for shared refrigerators," said Wang Shuxia, President, Changshou Community Fund in Putuo District.
Wang said they're working with food safety authorities to ensure the hygiene and quality of the food. Volunteers also write down the names and contacts of those who take food in case there are any food safety issues.