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Source: Pixabay/Pexels

Free Grocery Store Goes From Art Project To Feeding Thousands

By Aimee Lutkin

In 2010, an artist named Kim Paton opened up a grocery store in Wellington, New Zealand, and filled the shelves with leftover from other supermarkets and bakeries in the area. Anyone who wanted to could come in and take something to eat, free of charge. At the time, Paton said she was trying to create an awareness of how food waste plays into our eating habits everyday, and what that means for people who go without.

“This has been a great experiment in testing the broad mindedness of retailers. Willing suppliers have been very intrigued about the concept—and have been willing to look at ways to remove waste from their supply and, importantly to highlight the contributions they are making to the community already,” Paton said. “Free Store is making public the point in the supply chain that is usually unseen. I hope to raise discussion around how we define the value of a product and what we do with our waste."

EcoWatch reports that the spirit of Paton's work lives on in The Free Store, a grocery store that operates on basically the same premise. The Free Store is a place where anyone can come and get something to eat, built in a shipping container set in a church's parking lot.