Free99Fridges’ are located throughout Atlanta in areas with high food insecurity. Volunteers and community members keep these fridges stocked with fresh produce, pantry staples, homemade food, baby supplies, personal hygiene products, and so much more. Community members in need shop these fridges to help ends meet and stave off hunger. It is such a beautiful way for a community to come together with love, respect, and support.
As if this isn’t wonderful enough, each of the fridges is named in honor of a black community family member whose life was taken too soon – Korryn Gaines, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, and Tamir Rice.
While our turnout wasn’t as high as we had hoped, I am so grateful to David Cole, Al Albritton, Matt Gragg, and Todd Stone for coming out today to clean and organize the fridge and pantry, as well as stock it with much needed goods. It was an incredibly emotional and bonding experience.
In the three hours we spent at the fridge today we met fellow volunteers who were dropping off food – including a mother and child who were dropping off items donated be the children in her son’s classroom. We got to know the security guard who works in the area and helps those in need out by keeping the parking lot, and therefore the fridge, safe. She doesn’t stop there, though! She also collects sizes from regular shoppers and brings clothing items – particularly as the weather in Atlanta starts to turn cold.
We were also lucky enough to meet dozens of community members visiting the solidarity fridge. It simultaneously warmed and broke my heart to hand diapers directly to a young family as we were unpacking supplies. We visited with a homeless gentleman who wasn’t shy about filling us in on his and other community members’ favorite items. There was a wonderful man who sat and talked with us a spell as we all admired the beautiful sunshine. He told us about his new vegetarian diet, macro-nutrients, and how the fridge help him make it from paycheck to paycheck.
At the end of the road, we are all humans searching to survive and to connect with one another. When we left today, after watching the fridge fill and empty and fill and empty over and over again, I said to Matt, “I feel like we barely made a drop in the bucket.” He reminded me that every drop helps the bucket on its journey to being filled.
I know my heart was filled today.
Sad that you missed your chance to help out? Don’t be! You can visit a Free99Fridge near you any time with much needed items, shop from their Amazon Wishlist, like fellow ATL Spurs member Larry Green, or meet us at our next Free99Fridge service day in the new year.
ATL Spurs is committed to making a difference in our community. We are, in the end, all one club. COYS