I came across a video over the weekend about these pop-up refrigerators that have been appearing in major cities, such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and New York City, throughout the course of the pandemic. An organizer in a community sets up a refrigerator and both that organizer and the members of that community will stock the refrigerator with food for those that suffer with food insecurity and whomever would like to take from it (within reason, of course). Food insecurity has been a problem in these cities, but it has especially become a glaring concern in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, when millions have lost their jobs and struggling to feed their families. An organizer in New York City stated that this project is to promote “solidarity, not charity”, a sense of community, and mutual aid. I have provided the links below to these articles if you want more information about them.
I like hearing stories like these and would love to see more of them reported by the news media. There are plenty of stories that we are exposed to daily that are doom and gloom, especially now, even with those in the mental health community advising us to limit our news exposure to keep sane (that says something about the media, but that’s a discussion for a different time). I love to hear when people come together and take care of each other through simple acts like this that we may never have thought of or implemented if the pandemic had not come along (all of us could live without this pandemic, trust me). We are all being affected by the pandemic, but it’s a matter of how we are dealing with the negative effects on our society that shows strength and restores our faith in humanity.
I mentioned previously that food insecurity has become more prevalent because of the effect on society from the pandemic. This is a cause for which I am always excited to help. I have donated numerous times and have volunteered time to local food banks in the past. I think it is heartbreaking when someone is unable to feed their family, pandemic or not, and it is the least that we can do to help our fellow man in need. One of the things that has helped me find some peace throughout the pandemic is being altruistic. After some thorough reflection, I ended up donating several items that a local food bank needed, which they were appreciative to receive. I know that the pop-up refrigerator is not necessarily a food bank and may only work in small communities, especially in the suburbs, but it’s the overall cause that the refrigerators are helping to alleviate in the community that piqued my interest. If you are living in a community in which you think this could work and are interested in this cause, feel free to start a pop-up refrigerator of your own. If the pop-up fridge would not work in our community, I would encourage to consider donating to your local food bank.