Take what you need. Give what you can.
During the pandemic, we have seen Free Little Libraries turned into food pantries and now our neighborhood joins others across Seattle in hosting a Seattle Community Fridge. Taking inspiration from cities like San Francisco and New York, Seattle Community Fridge places cheerfully painted refrigerators around the city. These refrigerators and their accompanying pantries offer free food for anyone facing food insecurity. The latest refrigerator popped up in Wallingford on Bagley Avenue, just off 45th Street. The Octopus Bar will provide the electricity, but this venture will truly be powered by our Wallingford community.
In an interview with Q13 news, a Seattle Community Fridge volunteer, Andrea Bean said the goal is to “uplift communities and celebrate them”. The project is looking to place more than 50 fridges across the city, focusing on where people lack the resources to obtain fresh food products. The group has made a hearty strides with 9 locations currently! The hope is that neighbors share what we have, providing basic needs and creating new food experiences.
The pandemic environment has brought a dramatic increase in households struggling to get enough food. Food insecurity occurs when people do not have reliable access to a sufficient quality of affordable, nutritious food. A Washington State Food Security Survey reports that last “June, about 9% of adults in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties said they didn’t have enough food in their households”. This is double what it had been prior to COVID-19 impact. In King County, food insecurity ranges from 4% to 59% based on income, 57% of these households include children, and people of color have been hit especially hard.
Sharing what we have
The Community Fridge movement is founded on the theory of mutual aid, the horizontal movement of resources in a community rather than the wealthy giving to the needy. It’s is about our community sharing what we have. The Seattle Community Fridge facebook page posts an interview from volunteers who launched a community fridge project in Louisiana where Jessica Ellis says “There’s no such thing as food scarcity. There’s enough to go around. It’s just a distribution problem. There are grocery stores and bakeries that throw food out everyday so we’re just trying to help redistribute it”. Now, here in Wallingford, with the introduction of our very own Community Fridge, we have the chance to help our neighbors sustain themselves.
You Can Help
Visit Seattle Community Fridge to connect with the organizers and get involved. In the meantime, it looks like our fridge could use some stocking:
Items to Avoid:
- No alcohol
- No drugs
- Avoid donating raw meat or place in freezer
Items we love:
- Fresh produce
- Toilet paper
- Menstrual products
- Hand soap
The Octopus Bar will provide the refrigerator with electricity and add some food items, but it is up to us, the Wallingford Community to keep it stocked with nourishing items by sharing what we have!