John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Anonymous makers hope people and restaurants will set aside unwanted meals for the needy, sparing them a dig through the garbage.
Getting food to those who need it most can be a tough task. In Brazil, it just got a little easier, with improvised slots on public garbage cans intended to hold spare meals and groceries.
The “Street Dish” initiative is the work of anonymous citizens going by the Makers Society, who have affixed labels onto trash bins reading (roughly translated) “Leave foods that are still in use for consumption.” The notices wrap around tubes jutting out from the cans, allowing individuals to hang bags of leftovers, say, or restaurants and markets to leave extra grub or produce in plain sight.
The idea is to give the homeless and/or hungry places they can go to find free food, without having to dig through trash to find it. (Some might argue the government should fulfill this type of need, but hey, anything helps in desperate times.) The Makers Society is hoping this effort will catch on countrywide, and to help it along has provided a printable template for turning your block’s trash can into a food repository.