The story appears on

Page A4

October 11, 2016

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro » Society

Shanghai gets its first community fridge

THE city opened its first community fridge on Sunday, with the aim of cutting food waste and helping residents in need. It is located in Puxiong Road, Putuo District.

“Anyone, whether living in the community or not, can claim food from the fridge after a simple registration,” said the neighborhood committee director Zhang Jing. “For example, if you forget to make breakfast for your son, he can just pick up something here. Elderly residents living alone can also get fresh food and chat with volunteers here.”

The fridge is housed in a community reading room for the elderly and can be used from 8:30am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to 5pm. The stock yesterday included boxes of milk, yogurt and pastries. The foods are supplied by two local supermarkets nearby, a restaurant and a food bank.

Co-launched by Puxiong Community and Shanghai Oasis Public Service Development Center, the project was inspired by “solidarity fridges” in Spain, whereby residents and restaurants can drop off leftovers to curb food waste.

However, to ensure food safety and sourcing, the fridge in Puxiong Community so far only accepts food from certain institutions. Five volunteers take turns to be responsible for accepting food and cleaning the fridge.

“I think this is a brilliant idea, and would be even better if it can spring up around the city,” a 79-year-old resident Zhu Guoxin told Shanghai Daily. “However I hope in future individual residents can also be able to put their leftovers or other edible snacks here. Just like the scheme in Spain.”

In addition to the shared fridge, the community and Shanghai Oasis Public Service Development Center are also working on a food bank scheme serving low-income families as well as those who have financial burden due to huge costs of medical treatment. 

“Packaged food that can be preserved for a long time will be put in food bank to serve residents most in need,” said Ella Zhang, the program director with the public service center, “while cooked food or fresh food will be sent to the sharing fridge.” She said the Green Food Bank project first started in 2014 and operated from about 50 spots in Shanghai, with food supplied mainly by local farms, food manufacturers, retailers and restaurants. “Some five-star hotels are also contacting us to share their leftovers.”

The organization was working with volunteers in other cities including southwestern Sichuan’s Chengdu and Urumchi in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to spread the model of food sharing nationwide.

The project in Puxiong Community is sponsored by Changshou Funds of Changshou subdistrict government. If successful, the program will be spread to the other 34 communities in the subdistrict.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend