In Bloomington Indiana, as in many places, the downtown area, with many restaurants, is also peopled by folks who not only cannot afford to “eat out,” they ARE out, on the outs, the margins of society — and hungry. Here’s a simple idea that deserves to go viral.
November 7, 2013
by Kelly McCartney
shareable.net via Charis
If you live in a city, chances are you have, at one time or another, handed over your restaurant leftovers to a hungry person outside on the street. You may have even walked a few blocks looking for someone to accept your offering. To simplify this process, there’s a new sharing movement taking shape in Los Angeles: Share Shelf.
Here’s the official description: “A Share Shelf is a little square shelf attached to parking signs on streets with heavy foot traffic, lots of restaurants, and a high volume of homelessness. People can place any leftovers they might have from eating at a nearby restaurant on them. After the food is left behind, hopefully a hungry person who might otherwise go through the trash will take the leftovers and enjoy them so they do not go to waste. Kind of like ‘take a penny leave a penny,’ but with food.”
The folks behind Share Shelf tried out a cardboard prototype before upgrading to actual wood. Then, after assembling a stack of shelves, they set out across the City of Angels and installed those shelves outside eateries like Baja Cantina, Canter’s Deli, and Sunset Junction Coffeehouse. On the Tumblr site, the Share Shelf team encourages people to not only share their leftovers, but to share their sharing of their leftovers by snapping a picture and posting it to Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr with the #shareshelfLA hashtag.
It seems to all be working quite well. The original L.A. Tumblr site was set up only a week ago, and already there’s a Share Shelf spin-off in San Francisco.
Join the movement and bring Share Shelves to your city!