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Restaurant Muna Muna's
Restaurant Muna Muna's

TUCUMÁN Pope Francis declared war on waste months ago. Now, three of his kinsmen in northern Argentina have developed an idea to keep perfectly good food from being tossed and to help the hungry at the same time: "social fridges" where people can leave "neat portions" of leftover food.

The initiative was launched in the city of San Miguel de Tucumán and social fridges have also been installed in Salta and Jujuy, following an idea by restaurant owners Fernando Ríos Kissner, Luis Ponda and Daniela Viñas.

"We were surprised by the idea's impact," Ríos says. "It's barely been up and running a week, and many people have spoken to us about leaving their food." He says the idea came up when he and his team one day saw a news image of a man putting his child into a street bin to look for food.

Several bakeries and eateries also contribute food to the refrigerators, some of which have been discreetly placed so that beneficiaries can take food without becoming a spectacle. Besides restaurant food, the fridges accept any food in good condition and packaged for one person.

"We prepare portions," Rios says. "We never use food remains. For example, a couple orders a pizza. They leave three pieces nobody has touched, so we duly prepare that and send it to the fridge."

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Coronavirus

Will China's Zero COVID Ever End?

Too much has been put in to the state-sponsored truth that minimal spread of the virus is the at-all-cost objective. But if the Chinese economy continues to suffer, Xi Jinping may have no choice but to second guess himself.

COVID testing in Guiyang, China

Cfoto/DDP via ZUMA
Deng Yuwen

The tragic bus accident in Guiyang last month — in which 27 people being sent to quarantine were killed — was one of the worst examples of collateral damage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China nearly three years ago. While the crash can ultimately be traced back to bad government policy, the local authorities did not register it as a Zero COVID related casualty. It was, for them, a simple traffic accident.

The officials in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, of course, had no alternative. Drawing a link between the deadly crash and the strict policy of Zero COVID, touted by President Xi Jinping, would have revealed the absurdity of the government's choices.

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