Utica Group Creates Community Fridge with Free Food in Oneida Square
Access to high quality, nutritious food can be a challenge for many within our community. In response, a group of volunteers have created a 'Community Fridge' in Utica to help address this need.
A group of volunteers, Troy Lockwood, Liz Horner, Amanda Kendic, and Hana Selimovic worked with an artist to repurpose a fridge - well, it's still a fridge - but it's also so much more.
According to the group, "A community fridge isn’t charity, a community fridge is an exercise in Mutual Aid. Maintained, stocked, cleaned and rotated by a core group of local volunteers and in partnership with local grocers, a community fridge reduces food waste, and increases accessibility to healthy, high-quality food to people that are not as easily able to access inexpensive groceries."
The fridge was unveiled this week, and by all accounts, it was a big success. "Within two hours of being up and running, 30+ people came and grabbed from it. Our community was evidently in need of this. Our volunteers checked and restocked the fridge both yesterday morning and this morning. Almost all of the food was already gone."
In order to keep the fridge stocked, the group is hoping to make connections with local grocers and places of businesses that throw away perfectly good food at the end of every day. "We have drivers that can pick it up, absolving you of responsibility for it while you do what you can. Hit up your friends restaurants, your local café owner, your next door baker and let them know about us," ask the fridge coordinators.
The fridge is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to anyone who might need it. Volunteers say there are no requirements to access the fridge, and they ask you take only what you need.
How can you help?
- You can make donations at any time, donated directly to the fridge.
- Volunteers are always needed for food pick-up, cleaning and rotating food.
- Donations are welcome as well: venmo (@utica-communityfridge) and cashapp ($uticacommunityfridge). This money will primarily be used to build a shed and to provide our food runners gas money should they need it.
- Find them Facebook and Instagram under Utica Community Fridge or email firstname.lastname@example.org.