As food prices have soared since the pandemic, food insecurity in America has increased. Many struggle to put food on the table, so one Redditor decided to act and set up a community fridge at a local church.
In a popular Reddit post, one user shared photos of the community fridge and pantry they created to combat food insecurity and waste. They built the fridge nearly a year ago, coordinating with friends and local groups to construct, monitor, and stock the fridge.
To minimize costs, the Redditor acquired the fridge for free on Facebook Marketplace and found building materials on Buy Nothing groups. A local Boy Scout Troop also chipped in, donating any remaining necessities.
The Redditor recruited their friends to check the fridge’s temperature daily and keep it clean. They also organized with local farmers and a Trader Joe’s to donate extra food. Community members also help stock the fridge, and local gardening groups have contributed surplus crops.
“It honestly takes a community to feed a community,” the Redditor wrote. “Without everyone’s support, it wouldn’t be possible.”
As food insecurity becomes more prevalent in the United States, many struggle to afford three balanced meals a day.
A recent study found nearly 25% of American adults struggle to secure enough food for a nutritious diet in 2022. This number increased by 5% from 2021, a similar upward trend to grocery costs which increased by 20% in two years.
By connecting with local farms, gardeners, and a supermarket with excess produce and other food items, the Redditor helps feed their community and prevent food waste.
Out of America’s entire food supply in 2021, about 38% of it went uneaten. That works out to be about 548 pounds of wasted food per person. Despite this, many Americans struggle to put food on the table, making community efforts like the Redditor’s fridge essential.
Fellow Redditors were impressed by the user’s efforts to feed their community.
“I would give you an award if I could,” one user wrote.
“I took food from a community fridge a few times when I was living out of my car … I didn’t always need it, but knowing it was always an option gave me a lot of comfort,” another Redditor said. “You’re a blessing to the people around you for doing this.”
“For the community, by the community,” a user added.
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