We were heartened to see few construction workers take food from the refrigerator and feed their children, and we still cherish the memory of the look on a child’s face after being fed with a mouthful of roti and paneer butter masala,” says Vimla Pinto, the President of RC Bangalore Brigades, D 3190. She and her team has installed a ‘Rotary Fridge’ outside Hotel Elite Royale at HSR Layout in Bengaluru which was inaugurated by DG H R Ananth and Ms Earth 2010 Nicole Faria.
The club has tied up with restaurants in the city, installing mini-refrigerators outside the building, in its endeavour to feed the hungry with leftover food prepared by restaurants. “The food chain should not end prematurely at the incinerator or the bin, rather it should complete its role of providing nutrition to people. Anyone can walk up to the fridge and pick up food — no payment, no questions asked,” says Vimla.
The first fridge was installed outside a Lebanese restaurant Byblos at Indira Nagar last October, and four more have been added in various other areas with 40 more to be installed in the next three months. Excess food is packed in boxes and kept in the fridge, sometimes with fresh fruits too. During festival seasons, the restaurants also stock it with sweets for which the Rotarians also lend a hand.
The restaurants have assured to stock up fresh food, while the club will take care of the fridge’s maintenance and repairs. Other clubs and few corporates have also shown interest in this endeavour.
The Rotarians are also toying with the concept of a Rotary Shelf where groceries, snacks, jams etc donated by people may be stored and will be given to the needy. Few residential complexes have welcomed the idea, says Vimla.