For the day 16 I will skip the record of my daily meals and get straight to the most important event.
In the Solikyl meeting on day 15 we were introduced with a foodsharing platform that would allow us to organize the transportation between food donors and public fridges. This opensource platform is uniting many local foodsharing communities worldwide. Currently we are using it for volunteers to sign up each time we need to pick up the food from our only large-scale partner, local supermarket Hemköp.
Day 16 was a pick-up day that I had signed up for. Together with three other volunteers we entered the backside of the supermarket. Without bothering any employees, we picked a couple of shopping carts and went straight to a room where they’re keeping the discarded food. With cardboard boxes and large plastic bags piling up we headed to the street to take an uphill walk to the central Solidarity Fridge of Gothenburg. It looked like this:
We made a pause at a bus stop:
and noticed a poster of one of the largest greenwashing PR campaigns, done by the supermarket chain Willys. It’s saying: Less waste gives more to the wallet. However, when Willys was addressed directly via email, all Solikyl attempts to collaborate were subtly rejected.
First task after arrival was to sort the contents of the boxes: they were filled with vegetables and fruits as well as actual food scraps. Later the boxes filled with the food that is too bad for consumption will be brought back in the same shopping carts.
The bread deserves a separate blog post – it is the product that is being wasted in the most incredible amounts. Unfortunately, even Solidarity Fridge had to return a huge bag of bread to the supermarket:
It was too much and we had just brought two more bags of the same size.
After all the sorting, cleaning the storage boxes, taking out the inedible things, I picked some of the stuff to take home. A lot of vegetables, fruits and a bag full of sweet pastries. On my way home, a beggar started to insist to give her money. She even had the amount in mind – 100 SEK (roughly 10 EUR). Everyone refused, but she returned to me several times. I remembered about sweet pastries and gave the bag to her. She wasn’t entirely happy but accepted it and shared with her colleagues. I peeked to see what she’s doing with the pastries. Then she turned to me once more. The seats in front of me were free and suddenly I was sitting among three women, and several more standing around, all staring at me. The beggar spoke some English, and ended up telling me heart-breaking stories of her life. I was touched and in a strong disbelief in the same time.
So, I arrived home with the rest of the food:
Also, I collected a lot of leaves of leek, white cabbage and savoy cabbage – I was just sad to see them thrown out and I was sure I will find a way to use them.