Former Citi banker in Kerala feeds the hungry for free

Kochi, March 26 (IANS) Having turned a restaurateur after a five year stint with Citibank, Minu Pauline, 28, thought of those who are hungry but have no money to buy food.

She mulled over the problem and finally decided that she would do her bit to help the hungry – even those who can’t pull out their wallets to pay for what they have eaten at her restaurant.

They would somehow have to be provided food free of charge.

On Wednesday, she implemented her idea by placing a large refrigerator full of packets of food in front of her 40-seater restaurant at Kaloor near here.

Anyone who is hungry can come and take for free a packet of food kept in the fridge on which she spent Rs.40,000.

“Ever since I quit my banking job and opened my first restaurant, ‘Pappadavada’, in 2013, I have been concerned about the many who remain hungry because of no money to buy food,” Pauline told IANS.

Her restaurant is located in a place where there are quite a few people from the weakest sections.

“On Wednesday I placed 50 packets of upma neatly packed in the refrigerator. I told a few people that if anyone needs food from now on, they can come and open the refrigerator and take one packet,” she said.

“The response was good. I have now been telling people that if they have excess food with them, they can come and leave it in the refrigerator,” said Pauline.

She ensures that the food available in the fridge is not stale by marking on the packet the date and time of its reception.

“I have decided not to keep any packet for more than two days.

In the two days since she began the initiative, “the packets seem to disappear as soon as they are kept,” Pauline said.

She owns two restaurants here, employing about 30 people. The food is prepared at her central kitchen.

“The whole concept of this refrigerator is to send a message to the people not to waste food and instead help the needy,” she said.

Some people offered to buy food from her and then leave it in the refrigerator, to which she said: “No, because my purpose is to see no food is wasted and hence if anyone has excess food, they can provide it to the needy.”

Pauline said her husband Amal Nair is a constant source of inspiration to her.

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