Last week, a new “sharing fridge” opened in Shanghai, proving that Shanghai residents don’t like to share.
The new community kitchen, opened in Putuo District by local community groups, is supposed to serve as a communal refrigerator for needy residents that is stocked full of charitable food stuffs provided by properly-vetted institutions.
On its first day of operation, there was a long line of hungry locals waiting outside for the kitchen to open at 8 a.m. However, it doesn’t appear as though everyone waiting in line was exactly “needy.”
Once the doors opened, whole families scrambled inside to grab what they could. Some residents were spotted with multiple packages of food. ECNS even reports that one retiree was stopped when he “tried to take all the food away in a big bag.”
Similar problems have plagued another community fridge opened in late September outside of a local restaurant. An organizer told reporters that the food inside the fridge is always gone by the end of the day. In fact, sometimes, it’s all snatched up in 10 minutes with one person sometimes trying to grab all the food.
To keep this same thing from happening, the Putuo “sharing fridge” is guarded by volunteers who make residents fill out a form before taking any food out the door.
“Anyone, whether living in the community or not, can claim food from the fridge after a simple registration,” said 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.”
While it’s certainly a noble effort, it’s unclear if “sharing fridges” will be able to catch on effectively in China where people will go all-out for some free food. Earlier this month, to celebrate the National Day holiday, a buffet restaurant in Anhui province distributed five days’ worth of coupons to local residents, resulting in total chaos.
[Images via ECNS / CRI]