Minu Pauline, owner of Pappadavada in Kochi, started the public fridge initiative to feed the homeless and utilise excess food, called Nanma Maram.
The poor and homeless in Kochi’s Kaloor area don’t have to worry about scavenging for food anymore. There’s a ready supply of fresh, healthy food available daily, all thanks to one restaurant’s generous owner.
Minu Pauline runs Pappadavada, a popular food joint in Kochi, with a second branch in MG Road. Recently, she came up with a solution to feed the homeless and not waste food: a public fridge.
Installed right outside the restaurant, the public fridge is open to all.
Calling it ‘Nanma Maram’, which roughly means ‘giving tree’, she sees it as an opportunity to distribute excesses to the those who are needy.
Source: Facebook – Minu Pauline and Pappadavada
She ensures that her restaurant keeps at least 50 food packs in the fridge, daily. Those who are less fortunate to afford a meal are invited to come and take food as they please, at any time of the day or night.
“We bear the cost of the fridge and the electricity, and keep it open for 24 hours a day, every day,” she says.
In fact, she is now inviting residents, locals and hotel owners to donate food packets. Seeing as how sometimes there’s excess food in households, which end up in their own fridge, sometimes for days. Instead, she urges people to give it away to the homeless. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is also important to her. She requests donators to pack the food in clean containers, properly sealed, and is fresh.
Minu Pauline, who started Pappadavada in 2013 after quitting the banking industry, aims to reduce food wastage in urban areas. And in doing so, she keeps the homeless all fed and healthy. She says, “Food is a precious gift from nature, and people should not waste it. The sole purpose of this initiative is to give this food that is in excess for some, to those who are less fortunate to buy it.”