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Make a Positive Difference Easily - Bring Food to the Community Fridge

07/09/2021 02:50:02 PM

Jul9

Rose Hornstein

What is the community fridge? 

The Community Fridges  “are a mutual aid space where people take responsibility in caring for one another by redistributing resources. Fridges are set up and run by the people, for the people, and they serve as a solution for both food insecurity, and food waste. Free food for all. No questions asked”.  These fridges are popping up all over the country. 

The program was started in Marin by some awesome humans last year. It provides opportunity for people who need food to get food, in a way that's not your typical pantry. We learned about this program and decided in partnership with Venetia Valley and Old Gallinas, who are our neighbors and schools in the community, to become partners in hosting a community fridge. It is there 24 hours a day, and the idea is that people who can provide food do so and those that need food take it. It is also open to Parnow House, which is a senior living community next to us, and even open to our congregants. It's just another way to help those who are food insecure in our county and neighborhood. 

Who else is on the community fridge team? 
Rabbi Elana was the one who brought it to us. We work on this together, and we have representatives from Venetia Valley and Old Gallinas as well as people from the Marin Community Fridges. Congregant Suzan Barnes  is is our volunteer coordinator, and coordinates all of our volunteers. There are sign ups for people to either come by and clean or stock the fridge. 

What made you and Rabbi Elana want to start the community fridge at Rodef Sholom?
July 2020 during covid, in partnership with Venetia Valley, we ran a food pantry drive thru. The need was unbelievable, we handed out over 800 meals a week. And we know that it is a really, really hard time and people are still struggling right. And even with things opening up there are still a lot of people who have been impacted and food insecurity is a real thing. The community fridge felt like an easy way to make a small impact, and we were all over it. 

Rodef Sholom serves hundreds of families, and how do you ensure you’re considering so many diverse needs? 
Great question, because the majority of the families at Venetia Valley and Old Gallinas are Spanish speaking families. They helped us put together the potential shopping list in both English and Spanish. hat goes out to whoever is buying the food. We make sure we have food that those families want to eat. Being respectful of their culture and needs. 

What is the schedule like every week for the community fridge? 
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, three volunteers sign up to shop and stock the fridge and pantry.  Tuesdays and Saturdays a volunteer comes in to clean the fridge. we encourage anyone to contribute at any time.  f you’ve got too many lemons on your tree , bring them by, if you’ve brought too much milk, bring it by! We want our community to really own this as their fridge . We have food in a fridge,  canned goods in our pantry,  and our teens added a library of kids books. 

In 2019, an estimated 50 million Americans faced food insecurity. What are your feelings\frustrations towards food waste and food insecurity in the community and larger picture, America? 
Food waste is a huge thing. And, in one of the wealthiest counties in the country we still have so many people that are technically living under the line of poverty. And so many kids and families that are going hungry. It hurts my heart.

The Community Fridge is an easy way to help. You can sign up for a donation slot, or you can grab some food from your own home before you come to services (for example) and put the items in the fridge or pantry. Or when you’re shopping at Costco or Safeway, take advantage of their awesome promotions and buy extra to donate. It's open 24/7 so you can drop of contributions any time. It’s a very simple hands on way to make a difference.

Thu, August 5 2021 27 Av 5781