Photo Credit: ucfridge

The pandemic has taken a colossal toll on economies worldwide, and now that the worst of it seems to have passed, its effect has become most glaring.

Having stayed away from work for a long while, many businesses have run down, and the level of poverty seems to be at an all-time high. The direst of the detrimental effects of the pandemic has been hunger.

Now, communities are seeking different solutions to this problem. One example is street fridges, where people can contribute anonymously and otherwise for people in need.

Marianne Pita, a Covid-19 survivor, and volunteer that delivers food to local fridges, describes the fridges as mutual aid and an absolute necessity in these challenging times.

She said:

"Mutual aid means something different than the way welfare works, where you're being quizzed [on your need], because you have to qualify for the aid. You have to be really, really [good], and that's not what we're saying."

So far, 15 other community fridges have been set up in the five New York boroughs and New Jersey. Los Angeles and Oakland both have networks of community fridges up and running, and grassroots efforts to start community fridges in Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Miami are taking off.

With the rise in the spread of these fridges has come an equal increase in contributors and collectors. These range from those who donate food – bakeries, community gardens, farmers markets, and more – to neighbors who keep an eye on it throughout the day.

"Most of them are not given credit," Angela Wagner, one such volunteer, says.

There is no doubting the usefulness of these fridges but a lesson that must be learned is the act of giving. Learn to reduce food wastage; instead, share it with your neighbors, or donate to street fridges or other such collecting facilities.