A resident (left) gets a free cup of yogurt from a volunteer with the Solidarity Fridge project in Shanghai on Tuesday. (Photo: China Daily/Gao Erqiang)
(ECNS) -- The Charity Fridge project, or Share Fridge, where people can leave food for the needy, has caused volunteers and management staff a headache in Shanghai, local media reported.
The sharing idea gained international attention after a man in the Saudi city of Hail put a fridge outside his house so people could leave food for the hungry.
A restaurant in the Changshou Subdistrict of Shanghai's Putuo District introduced a similar fridge in late September, mainly offering its unsold food.
A manager from the restaurant said all food, including about 30 meal boxes a day, were taken in 10 to 90 minutes, but apparently not always by the needy.
The same problem also troubled another fridge put outside a home for the elderly in the neighborhood on Oct. 9. Reports said many people, including those from other areas, queued up early before the fridge opened at 8 am.
Local media also found some people took more than they could use from the fridge or several members of a family scrambled for food, posing management challenges. A local retiree was stopped when he tried to take all the food away in a big bag.
To guarantee food safety, the two fridges currently share food mainly provided by qualified restaurants and supermarkets rather than from individual donations.
Despite problems, the neighborhood plans to introduce another fridge near a hot pot restaurant and work with market regulators to ensure safety.