Millions of people in India die of chronic hunger and hunger-related diseases every year. In an attempt to contribute to the society and feed the needy, Minu Pauline — owner of Pappadavada, a restaurant chain in Ernakulam, Kerala — has installed a fridge, accessible 24*7, where the restaurant keeps 50 food packets every day, and people willing to donate excess food are welcome to do so as well.
With the inauguration of her second outlet in the city on March 23, Pauline, who calls the initiative ‘Nanma Maram’ or ‘virtue tree’, installed the community fridge under a tree. “Anyone can leave leftover food here in this refrigerator so that it can be a solace to the hungry and the starved. We named it ‘Nanma Maram’ in this context,” she told The New Indian Expess.
The restaurant requests people to mark date of preparation of the food on the packets they donate to check and take out the food that expires. “Apart from the food that Pappadavada keeps in the refrigerator, we request individuals, party makers, event managers and restaurant owners to deposit left over, but fresh and eatable food,neatly packed in this refrigerator of love,” she added.
Reportedly, the restaurant bears the electricity bill for the fridge and has decided to clean it twice a week. It has also installed a CCTV camera for security. “The whole concept of this refrigerator is to send a message to the people not to waste food and instead help the needy,” she said.
It was in 2013 that Pauline decided to quit her job in Citibank and open Pappadavada MG Road in the city. The restaurant is reportedly known for its reasonably priced ethnic Kerala cuisine.