Social fridges scheme of Europe adopted by Argentina as poverty rises

May 11, 2016 13:14 IST

Social Fridge Scheme: A scheme started during Europe’s economic crisis to feed the needy ones

The term ‘Social Fridge’ was in news in the second week of May 2016 with Argentina adopting it to feed the needy ones who are facing the hardship due to increase in job cuts and inflation in the country.

The genesis of ‘social fridge’ or ‘solidarity fridge’ lies in the recent economic crisis of Europe during which countries like Spain and Germany saw the mushrooming of such fridges.

It is called so because people leave food in outdoor "social fridges" for those who need it. The fridges typically stand on the sidewalk outside restaurants.

As of now some 57 “social fridges” are operating in Argentina.

Why the trend spread to Argentina?

Argentina is one of the richest nations of Latin America and with its countless fields and livestock it is one of the world’s biggest food producers.

•    Since the time Conservative President Mauricio Macri took office on 10 December 2015 inflation is hovering around 40 percent and domestic prices have soared. As a result, Argentines are finding hard to match their salaries with their purchase of food.

•    Further, the increasing inflation has led to an estimated 1.4 million Argentine falling into poverty net in last five months. Some 34.5 percent of the nation's 40 million people are living below the poverty line.

•    With the lifting of foreign trade and currency restrictions, raising of utility prices and cutting of public sector jobs to correct the economic woes the Marci government, some 140000 people have lost their jobs.

•    Although Argentina set up a national food bank during an economic crisis in 2001, many charities say they cannot run food projects because of a lack of regulations to authorize them.

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