Ramadan has just ended. Mainstream media have reported that “food waste had hit a peak during the final week of Ramadan when large quantities of untouched food packets were disposed of mercilessly. Photographs of heaps of uneaten food, in a wink, went viral on social media.” (Bernama)
Food wastage happens when too many are feeding the homeless without an organised system. Along with food wastage, other problems like cleanliness, uneven distribution of aid, health problems like food poisoning are created.
Rightly observed, what we need is “a more systematic way to distribute food to the target groups. Only then can food waste be curbed.”
Much has been said from many quarters. “Instead of paying lip service to this issue, they should walk the talk. They don’t have to wait until the next Ramadan or festive season.”
Take for example, Minu Pauline, a restaurant owner from Kochi, in southern India, recently made news headlines, not for her culinary expertise, but her awe-inspiring generosity. She maintains a fully stocked, unlocked refrigerator outside her restaurant, filled with free fresh meals for the homeless.
The fridge is always stocked with about 50 packets of freshly cooked food from the restaurant, for people to reach for when they are hungry.
Minu has two concerns though: 1) She may get sued if someone gets sick from eating her food; 2) her restaurant often doesn’t have the space to store leftover food while they are waiting for agencies to pick it up. Food banks may not have the capacity to transport or properly store the food, especially if it’s highly perishable. Furthermore, often she simply doesn’t even know where to donate their leftover food.
There is no reason or excuse for there to be even one starving person on this Earth in this day and age. The only missing ingredient is our collective willpower to come together and create the changes we all know the world needs, Minu opines.
Minu insists that their idea is to use what you already have, to donate the food that you might waste. She says that her restaurant bears the cost of the fridge and the electricity, and keeps it open for 24 hours a day, every day.” – Truthforfree