A restaurant in Istanbul's high-class Bebek neighborhood has come up with an award-winning, novel idea to help street animals by offering cardboard place mats that can be reshaped as boxes in which the customers can put their leftover food to send to animal shelters around the city.
Taps Bebek has recently been the recipient of a corporate award in two categories for their creative project called "Bi' Kutu Dostluk" (A Box of Friendship). First initiated to mark World Animal Day on Oct. 4, this act of kindness has gained popularity by word of mouth and by video released on social media, reaching thousands of viewers.
The place mats can easily be turned into a small box for easy carry to stray cats and dogs around the neighborhood and in other animal shelters. The project is also very helpful to prevent wasting food while taking care of animals in harsh winter conditions. To help out street animals, provincial authorities have launched a number of initiatives now being taken to feed and protect the animals as much as possible. In 2015, the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry provided local governments with TL 4.5 million ($1.58 million) in subsidies for the needs of stray animals.
According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year - approximately 1.3 billion tons - is either lost or wasted. Based on statistics provided by Turkey's Foundation for Avoiding Waste, more than TL 200 billion in food is wasted.
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