Our project, Feed a Friend, South Bend, is based on the belief that all people deserve regular access to fresh, appealing food that sustains long-term health. We seek to respond to food insecurity and promote food justice in South Bend by establishing a freedge, or free community fridge, in the Near Northwest Neighborhood.
Similar to the model of a little library, the freedge will be a place where anyone can “leave what they can and take what they need,” knowing that contributions will meet the immediate needs of neighbors. The community fridge will also complement services provided by local food pantries and shelters by offering items not always easily found in these spaces, such as fresh produce, culturally-appropriate goods, and home-cooked, ready-to-eat meals. The freedge has the added benefit of being accessible to all: there is no creed, no application, and there are no particular hours when food can be contributed or claimed. For those living in its vicinity, it requires no transportation. The freedge can also be used by individuals who may have difficulty accessing benefits provided by government programs safety-net programs (SNAP, WIC) because the paperwork acts as a barrier or the periodic nature of their food insecurity disqualifies them for more official forms of assistance.
We seek to stock the freedge by partnering with local schools, reaching out to farmers, and most importantly, relying on neighbors. Our goal is to create a form of mutual aid that steps away from money as the only mode of aid, and proposes instead that we nourish one another, and see to it that no one goes hungry. This - this is something we can do to achieve that goal. We can feed our neighbors.
Funded by South Bend, IN (November 2022)