Communal Kitchen Offering Free Food Sparks Literal ‘Hunger Games’ in Shanghai

The idea of food for everyone sounds good, but maybe not in Shanghai just yet.
Last week, residents went into a hoarding frenzy when a communal kitchen opened in the city.
Installed in Putuo District’s Xiongxinyuan residential community, the kitchen, which comes with refrigerators, was installed with the intention of giving away excess food to needy families and reduce food waste, CRI reported.
The shared food comes from qualified markets and restaurants to ensure safety and quality.
However, on the kitchen’s first day of operations, residents, including those from other areas, didn’t seem all that “needy.” They formed a heavy queue outside the premises, and once the door opened at 8:00 a.m., the “Hunger Games” officially started.
As per ECNS, members of families scrambled inside to get whatever they can. Some were spotted with multiple packages, and one even tried to “take all the food away in a big bag.”
But this isn’t entirely surprising since anyone is welcome to grab something out of the kitchen. Volunteers simply ask visitors to fill out forms before taking food away. Neighborhood committee director Zhang Jing said (via Shanghai Daily):
“Anyone, whether living in the community or not, can claim food from the fridge after a simple registration. 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.”
Still, a sense of control may be necessary. A local restaurant introduced a similar sharing fridge in late September, and its manager was surprised to find that all food, including about 30 meal boxes a day, were gone in around an hour minutes. It is not exactly clear whether all the people were actually “needy.”
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