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Detroit Community Fridge aims to alleviate food insecurity, broaden food access in the city

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Posted at 3:35 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 07:15:30-04

(WXYZ) — Two students hope to alleviate food insecurity in the city of Detroit and provide broader food access through the Detroit Community Fridge.

Wayne State University students Alyssa Rogers and Emily Eicher launched the initiative after seeing community fridges pop up all over the country throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rogers and Eicher met through groups on campus involved in community work. Last summer, Eicher had an extra fridge in her garage and the Detroit Community Fridge was launched in Southwest Detroit on August 27, 2020.

"Detroit has so much food insecurity, it's basically a food desert," Eicher said. "COVID was hitting everyone so hard and we have the capacity and energy to help create this platform for people to share and take care of each other, look out for each other."

The fridge has moved locations since its launch and is now located on the city's east side at 10061 Gratiot Ave.

Rogers said the fridge is emptied every other day; it includes prepared foods along with staples, like milk, yogurt, butter, etc. There are also dry goods and sanitary products available.

So what does a typical day at Detroit Community Fridge look like?

Eicher says she shops for items in the fridge via Venmo funds or grabs donations and brings what she has to the fridge, the same thing other volunteers are doing.

"It's rare to go there and not interact with somebody or for it to look different," she said. "It's always evolving, back and forth."

Eicher said anything people can give will be put to use.

Examples include food, donations, dry goods, paper towels, frozen foods, diapers, sanitary goods or occasionally free clothes.

In additional to running the fridge, Rogers and Eicher also hold other events for the community, like a recent barbecue fundraiser for 313 Day.

Currently, they are planning to launch a few other community fridges in different neighborhoods throughout the city.

The community fridge is currently taking volunteers and Rogers said volunteers are encouraged to come check on the fridge and help clean it.

"We're always looking for people to help, in general," she said.

Check out more information on the community fridge here.