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A fridge full of goodness

Minu Pauline with her 420 litre fridge Source: Minu Pauline

Minu Pauline, a young restaurateur, is urging the community to put their leftover food in a fridge located outside her eatery for the homeless to take.

Minu Pauline, the 28-year-old owner of Kochi’s Pappadavada restaurant, is urging customers and the community to put their leftover food in a 420 litre fridge located just outside of the eatery for the homeless and hungry to take.


Minu’s initiative is called ‘Nanma Maram,’ or the tree of goodness.

Minu, a banker turned restaurateur, says “she opened the restaurant as she wanted to think out of the box and not start a business that was expected of her like a beauty parlour or boutique.”

Minu’s tree of goodness or the fridge is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week and stays unlocked.

Minu recalls that the idea to put a fridge outside of her shop came one night.

She saw an old lady searching in a trash-can for food at 3 am in the morning.

This experience made her feel like she was part of the food wastage problem in her area and must do something to avoid this happening in the future.

On being asked what if someone who is not a needy person took the food, Minu says “If someone took the food we do not ask questions. Hopefully, he or she would eat it.”

Minu encourages the homeless to take the meal from the fridge at any time.

Minu has asked other shopkeepers and neighbours to leave their leftovers in nicely wrapped boxes so that those in need can take them.

Minu leaves around 50-100 packets of food from Pappadavada on a daily basis.

Thanks to social media, Minu is now a local celebrity and her small idea has potentially triggered a powerful wave of volunteerism.

Minu’s only message is – “Don’t waste the resource, don’t waste the food.”