Community refrigerators take the cake to feed the city’s needy | Ahmedabad News
AHMEDABAD: Around the world, more than 800 million people go to bed hungry every day. Even the $6 billion demanded from billionaires like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos by the World Food Program can only help feed 42 million people for about a year. But why wait for the rich to loosen their purse strings, when all it takes to share food with another human is to open their heart? A few Good Samaritans in the city have taken the “sharing is caring” rhetoric a step further by setting up community refrigerators to feed the hungry, creating a whole community of people who share their food with the rest of the world.
These refrigerators are installed at three different locations in the city – two in South Bopal and another on the SG highway. Another community refrigerator was installed at Satellite on Friday.
The concept of a community fridge, popular in Europe, is simple: a fridge is installed in a public space and maintained. Ordinary citizens can deposit their neatly wrapped excess food of good quality in the refrigerator for the needy to collect.
Maqsud Dediawala, restaurateur and philanthropist, installed the first community refrigerator in Ahmedabad in 2018. “I have often traveled to Europe where I have seen these refrigerators and thought it would be wonderful to replicate the concept here. Today we have three such refrigerators, one in a shopping center and two in residential companies in southern Bopal and along the SG highway,” he said. “Instead of keeping it voluntary, we appointed guardians to keep the refrigerator well maintained. They ensure that fresh food is taken out every day after a certain period of time and distributed to the needy.
So far, at least one million food packets have been collected and distributed.
“Once, some street children asked us to bring them pizzas. For example, a pizzeria provided spare pizzas for children through the community refrigerator initiative,” added Dediawala.
The community refrigerator installed at Gala Gardenia in South Bopal has been a boon to construction workers in the area. Sagar Jani, a resident, said, “Now workers know about refrigerator in our society. Most of them approach the security guard and collect the food packets. We have also started stocking cold water bottles for the needy.
This initiative also helped feed migrant workers and the homeless during the 2020 lockdown.
The Rotary Club of Ahmedabad Supreme celebrated its anniversary on Friday by setting up a community refrigerator near Prernatirth Derasar in Satellite. Sharing details, club member Dilip Nair said: ‘In our fridge people can leave surplus fresh food for the needy, either homemade or store bought. We also plan to have lockers where people can deposit their blankets, clothes and shoes in good condition.
In the future, the club plans to install 12 such refrigerators throughout the city. “We are in talks with companies that can fund installation and maintenance through their corporate social responsibility initiatives,” Nair said.