We're not sure exactly quite why, but Amazon has been giving out a lot of bananas for free over the last 12 months in the US city of Seattle, which is where the retail giant's headquarters are based.

In December 2015, Amazon launched the "Community Banana Stand" as a way to hand out healthy snacks for free to anyone who lives in either the South Lake Union or ReGrade communities in downtown Seattle.

The stand is run by "banistas" (i.e. banana stand servers) who give out an average of 4,500 bananas a day, and in 2016, over one million bananas were given out.

"The stand is open Monday through Friday and is located in the heart of Amazon's South Lake Union campus. As long as the community keeps loving their daily bananas, we'll keep doing it," Amazon said on its local community page.

The banana stand was an idea that Amazon's founder, chairman and chief executive Jeff Bezos came up with. Of course, it's not the only thing that Amazon does for the local community – Amazon has a focus on getting more girls into coding, and in 2016 it hosted and mentored the "Girls Who Code" summer programme for high school students in Seattle.

The retail giant also supports the Ada Developers Academy, which is a 12-month-long intensive school in software development for women with no previous professional experience in computer programming who want to become software engineers. Plus, the firm endows two professorships in University of Washington's Computer Science department.

Amazon also says it is investing in public facilities in the city of Seattle, to provide public spaces like an outdoor dog park, playing fields, a dedicated two-way cycle track, covered walkways and art installations.

"We hope you will stop by for a healthy snack, and maybe pick up an interesting fact or two from our friendly 'banistas'," said Amazon.