May 18th, 2020, was the 7th anniversary of Michael Raven’s passing. Michael was extraordinarily passionate about creating access to healthy food for everyone and advocated relentlessly for fresh produce to be available in food desserts. In his work, he often said, “No one should go hungry” .
On that day, while scrolling through Instagram we came upon a post for a Community Fridge that had recently been installed on the sidewalk in Harlem for people in the community who needed some extra help.
Three days later we had The Friendly Fridge BX up and running with the help of electricity provided by The Last Stop. Plugged in on the sidewalk at 5977 Broadway, the Fridge is open 24/7 and is available to anyone who needs healthy food.
1 in 6 Americans will experience food insecurity at some point and this number is growing during the pandemic. In the time since the Fridge has been plugged in, we’ve talked with folks who have expressed sincere gratitude for the resource as they work to make ends meet. As such, the Fridge is filled up and emptied on an average of 2 or 3 times a day.
Mothers, fathers, senior citizens, students, cab drivers, home care attendants and so many more are stopping by the Fridge to take a few things to help supplement their groceries. One mother talked about how the gallons of milk go straight to her growing teenage boys while another mother was so excited to find fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes and beans to make a nutritious meal for her family.
As one women recently said to us, “Hunger has no name.” And she’s right. She added, “I love when I come here, it’s always clean and there’s always fresh produce. No questions are asked. I don't have to give my personal information."
The Friendly Fridge BX is a part of collective efforts rooted firmly in mutual aid. Working together with volunteers and other community fridges, the goal is to provide quality foods directly to the community.
The Fridge is incredibly grateful for individual donations of groceries and yet the need continues to grow. Therefore we need your help as we build sustainable partnerships with farmers markets, community gardens and vendors in our efforts to rescue foods. These sources will help to supply the Fridge with fresh, locally-sourced produce.
All donated funds will go toward:
- Purchasing fresh produce from surrounding farmer’s markets and local wholesalers who support the community fridge movement
- Transportation of both donated and rescued foods
- Building a winterized shed for the Fridge
For more information or to volunteer, please check out:
New York Times article
Call: [phone redacted]
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