Two new “community fridges” were set up in Kingston last month following an online fundraiser. Located at the Clinton Avenue United Methodist Church (122 Clinton Avenue) and Beyond the 4 Walls community outreach organization (14 Van Buren Street), the refrigerators allow any member of the community to pick up or donate food without an appointment from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
The website kingstoncommunityfridges.com describes the effort, as a collaboration between Kingston Food Co-op and the people of Kingston, “born out of a desire to more deeply connect our community in a grassroots way while building food sovereignty — the power of the people to control their own food access, distribution and consumption. Community fridges are a way for people to share what they have, and to take what they need with dignity and without an intermediary — everyone is encouraged to give and take.”
Giving guidelines suggest donations of fruit and vegetables (fresh or frozen), milk, cheese, butter and yogurt, and healthy items, fresh and non-perishable unopened and still packaged. Expired or spoiled food and food that’s been opened or partly used cannot be accepted.
Community fridges have been popping up in cities across the country since the pandemic began, when food shortages and unemployment led to an increased focus on food insecurity. Each refrigerator is operated independently. For more info, including how to bring a fridge to your neighborhood, see kingstoncommunityfridges.com.