Town In Spain Installs Outdoor Refrigerator To Feed Locals And Reduce Food Waste

Galdakao, Spain created the country's first communal fridge to provide for those who are hungry.

The mayor and a volunteer in front of the "Solidarity Fridge" installed to feed the hungry.  Credit: NPR

The mayor and a volunteer in front of the “Solidarity Fridge” installed to feed the hungry.
Credit: NPR


Here’s an uplifting story guaranteed to restore your faith in humanity.

As TrueActivist recently reported, one-third of all food produced in the world goes to waste – a travesty when 795 million people still go to bed hungry and are malnourished.

One way the Basque town of Galdakao, Spain is remedying this crisis is by urging local citizens to put their leftovers in a refrigerator on the streets.

The city of about 30,000 people created the country’s first communal refrigerator to provide for the hungry. No questions asked and no judgment, it’s a way for those in need to receive, and for those with enough to give.

Alvaro Saiz, who once ran a food bank in Galdakao, conjured up the idea for the “Solidarity Fridge” during the recession in Spain. He witnessed a number of people going through trash bins looking for food and figured there had to be a better way for restaurants – and individuals – to donate unused food and provide for those without.

Saiz then went to the mayor with his plan, and participated in helping install a refrigerator on the street where people could deliver their leftovers and the hungry could take what they needed.

“When he came to city hall with this idea, I thought it was both crazy and brilliant! Mayor Ibon Uribe told NPR. “How could I say no?”

Credit: NPR

Credit: NPR

A bit of legal research and money was required to jump-start the plan, but the city finally came up with the $5,500 fee for the project and changed the law to keep the city from being sued if people became sick. No raw meat or eggs are allowed, and food has to be thrown out after four days, but those who maintain the Solidarity Fridge say that nothing last for more than a few hours, anyway.

Restaurants have  begun including leftover tapas in the fridge, and some people even cook whole meals just to donate to those who are hungry. Schools are now organizing field trips to the fridge, as well, to teach young students how to share and not be wasteful.

Hopefully, this incredibly kind and intelligent way to re-use leftovers will inspire other cities around the world to follow suit.

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