You might have noticed colorful refrigerators popping up outdoors in your neighborhood. They’re a lifeline to the community and they act as a grassroots response to a dire food insecurity crisis. Anyone can access the food inside these fridges for free – the movement’s unofficial motto is “take what you need, leave what you can.”
Entirely volunteer-led, the food inside the fridges often comes from donations from grocery stores or restaurants -which would otherwise be thrown out- or from individuals who bought a little too much on their last Costco run. Volunteers sign up for shifts to care for, clean, and replenish the fridge.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, free fridge programs have sprung up rapidly across the United States and around the world. Freedge.org lists hundreds of them on their crowdsourced map.
Do you have a community fridge in your neighborhood?
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