Community Fridge Established to Help Struggling Calgarians
Community fridge is the new unique neighborhood pantry that is up and running in the Calgary community of Crescent Heights.
The Calgary Community Fridge founders said that it allows Calgarians to donate or get fresh produce and other perishable products, which is something not usually available at community pantries.
Across North America, similar projects sparked other than the Calgary Community Fridge. Lam said, "Basically, a bunch of friends got together." He added, "We saw other fridges pop up in Toronto and New York, and we wanted to bring it to Calgary."
The group made a fundraising campaign that quickly took off. In two days, the group was able to raise over $15,000. However, at the start, they didn't have to use all of the money since most of the organization's needs, like construction materials, all came from donations.
In the last few years, many Calgarians have struggled to provide food on the table, and the pandemic made things worse. Demand is up by the thousands, according to The Calgary Food Bank.
Since the start of March, the food bank has served 64,000 mostly new clients, as per the CEO James McAra. There is about 27% in the number of new clients at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it has now settled between 8% and 10%, there are still many mouths to feed, as per Global News.
McAra states that he expects demand to ramp up again when the government benefits run out, and students go back to the classroom.
One of the several neighbors that has been filling the fridge is Matt Lemon. "We've got a herb garden in our backyard that's way more than we can handle," Matt said.
Lemon reiterated that times are tough, and everyone can help, and he is more than happy for it to be his. Lemon understands that some people need some help, and people can do something even if it is small. Some stuff that the neighbors have lying around the house to help some hungry people out.
Meanwhile, neighbor Katie Hopkins agrees. Hopkins also said that the community fridge has an added benefit. "This is a great way for the community to connect, and it's a nice way to help those who need it," Hopkins said.
While the community fridge is in the Crescent Heights, it will remain open to anyone in Calgary, as per Lam. The group is said to work on setting up another community fridge in the city in the next month.
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