A little over a year ago, Viri Marin launched the Chattanooga Community Fridge in Highland Park to help with food insecurities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, there are two fridges (the second in Clifton Hills) available for the community to both receive aid + donate to help those in need.
Wait, what’s a community fridge?
A community fridge is a mutual aid project. It serves as a space where members of the community can take what they need and leave what they can.
The main goal is to help those facing food insecurity by providing access to fresh produce and other food items, no questions asked.
The fridges are accessible 24/7, and are taken care of completely by community members. Currently, there are two community fridges in Chattanooga at 1918 Union Ave. + 3330 Brannon Ave.
How else does a community fridge benefit the community?
Community fridges also help eliminate food waste. They are an accessible resource for redistributing perishable food items. If you have food in your refrigerator, pantry, or freezer that has not expired, but you don’t plan on using, you can donate it to the community fridge rather than throwing it away.
This mutual aid project also brings the community together. Local restaurants, farmers, and members of the community work together in volunteer efforts and management of the fridge.
How can I get involved?
Be a shopper. You can drop off your donations or sign up for a day that you can shop for the fridge every week + send your receipt so you can be reimbursed with funds donated.
If you live close by one of the fridges, you can do a wellness check. Basically, you snap a photo of the fridge and send to the Chattanooga Community Fridge Instagram page. This way if the fridge is empty or dirty, someone can come by to stock it or clean it.
You can also donate monetarily through Venmo (@Chattanooga_Community_Fridge), cash, or check. Funds will go towards stocking the fridge + general upkeep. If you have a business or organization and would be interested in hosting a fundraiser, you can send a direct message through Instagram to set up a fundraiser.