What is a Community Fridge?
A Community Fridge is a type of "free store" that is from the community, for the community. It's 100% community owned, used, & maintained.
Community Fridges, like other Free Stores, are usually kept in a structure that is weather proof that allows for high levels of food safety and sanitization, as well as easy access.
They are open 24/7, available to donate to whenever is convenient, and 100% decentralized and democratically run. This means the community decides exactly what happens with the fridge and how to operate it effectively.
No bosses, staff, or hierarchical structure dictates who has access to the fridge.
What is Mutual Aid?
Mutual Aid is the voluntary exchange of resources, services, or other necessary actions that are mututally beneficial to a community, organization, or individual.
This can be as simple as trading baked goods for tutoring sessions, teaching your neighbor how to change their oil, raising money for bail funds, rent relief, medical/funeral expenses, starting community gardens, or opening community defence organizations that address systemic reasons for crime and prevention.
Mutual Aid is a factor in evolution, as it addresses and solves inadeqeucies in the system that would usually result in starvation, lack of education, lack of access to resources, and other types of basic human needs.
Mutual Aid Resources
Since Mutual Aid covers such a massive and extensive ability to solving systemic problems, there is also an extensive amount of resources at our finger tips!
Check out "The Library" section to find the perfect Mutual Aid resources for you!
Have something specific you'd like to know or find? Feel free to reach out to us using the "Contact" forms provided.
How else can I help?
If you would like to make a financial donation that allows us to evenly distribute finances necessary for pick-up travel, food restock, renovations on-site, and other operation costs by clicking the "GoFundMe" tab under the Volunteer Section!
You can volunteer to help clean the fridge, pick-up donations to drop off at the fridge, or get some hands on experience in the workings of our fridge!
If you would like to donate your time, resources or skills, please fill out the contact form and let us know how you'd like to get involved!
How can I get involved?
Since Mutual Aid plays on the strength of each individual within a community, there are tons of ways to get involved!
Dropping off donations at the fridge, volunteering for cleaning & donation pick-ups, directly getting involved with the inner workings, opening your own community fridge, donating to our GoFundMe, learning more about Mutual Aid, and even sharing/liking/commenting on Mutual Aid Social Media pages provides a wealth of help!
Fill out our contact form and let us know how you'd like to help so we can welcome you aboard! Anyone and everyone is welcome... No special qualifications or status needed!
Click on the "Other Options" tab in the Volunteer section for further details and methods that you can get involved in your local community!
What SHOULD NOT be donated to the fridge?
Due to Food Safety importance we cannot accept the following:
- Raw Meat/Seafood
- Expired Food
Won't people abuse the fridge and take more than they need?
Many of us have been functioning in survival mode due to food scarcity. It is natural to hoard resources out of fear of them running out or fear of never having them again.
As we continue our dedication to ending food insecurity, this trauma will heal.
We must be gentle and considerate with one another, as we each walk a different path.
It is not up to anyone else but the individual to decide how much of a resource is appropriate for an individual to have.
Nobody knows better about what you need better than you, and we have to respect the same for our neighbor.
It is up to us to find compassion and understanding as to why a person may feel the need to hoard resources.
This is a common symptom of systemic problems that base access to human rights off of class or status in society.
The reality is, food insecurity breeds extreme PTSD that results in division of the people and blaming the victim for their response to living in survival mode.
Why is the fridge always empty?
Food insecurity is more common than any of us would have ever thought, and it has only become more visible through Covid, but no more extreme.
Due to this fact, it is important that we are working towards strong community structures, more community fridges, and other mutual aid projects.
As community fridges become more normalized, the resources will not be so stretched and thinned out.
How do I donate food?
Simply follow the donation guidelines and donate to the fridge whenever you would like!
There is no sign-up or approval process beyond your own quality control and convenience.
Be sure to leave donations in an organized and respectful way.
If you see something expired, damaged, moldy, or anything else that goes against our guidelines, it is your responsibility as a member of our community to discard of it appropriately.
Please set a clean and respectful example so that our community fridge is well loved and cared for.
About Community Fridges & Other Mutual Aid Efforts
Community Free Stores have been a massive part of human rights movements,
sustainability movements, overcoming oppression and other forms of unification.
We believe this can be achieved by forming independence and support structures outside of inadequate social assistance programs.
Mutual Aid structures organically start to form in times of dire need as a useful and effective resource to all.
These methods have been successfully addressing inadequacies in the system since the mid-late 1800s,
so there are tons of resources and methods to explore!
Mutual Aid originated in the days of slavery when there was a ruling class, and those that were ruled and exploited. Since we still operate under this system, we must continue our unification to aid in survival of the fittest (us).
Studies show that mutual aid organizing is the single most effective method to addressing all forms of need throughout history.
By bringing together communities based on need vs. ability to access resources, there is no opportunity to be without, since access is free!
We leave out toxic and discriminatory systems that leave humanity struggling to survive and without basic human needs being met.
Community Fridges are a type of spontaneous mutual aid that arises when needs are not being met.
This allows for adaptability that is not governed or restricted based on economic or political agendas!
Free Stores and Community Fridges are 100% community run, used, maintained, and loved!
Without respecting democratic and decentralized ways of being, we are going directly against the very basic principles of solidarity.
Mutual Aid is an act of solidarity, not charity.
This means that there is no need to prove whether or not you are worthy of
basic human needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and respect.
We believe that each and every living being is deserving of these things, so we are not to question or ask for proof of these needs.
Community Fridges are free to use by everyone and operate based on the needs and abilities of the local communities they are in.
Since need is temporary, we must nurture the needs we have that make basic survival impossible so that we may build strong communities.
In return we ask that those using it help keep it clean, loved, and stocked when possible.
It is important to utilize many hands to make light work...
Each of us deserves basic human needs without any questions or judgement.
In order for us to effectively do this, it’s important for you to feel included, valid, useful, and cared for in this Community Fridge!
Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have any skills, resources, passion, input, or other useful things that you would like to provide for this particular Community effort.
Since you’re a member of this local Community, you know exactly what your local Community needs!
Click here for information so that you may better familiarize yourself the history and real world examples of Mutual Aid organizing.
We are always happy to lend guidance and resources we have accumulated during our individual experiences doing mutual aid.
Please feel free to ask for clarification when needed!
Love, health, & Solidarity,
The Cathedral Community Fridge