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Community Fridge Project

fridge Children in Modiin learning a lesson in social responsibility

The findings of the 2021 Israel National Food Waste Report indicate that wastage was approximately 2.6 million tons, about 37% of total food production, up 5% from the 2020 report, and food security relies heavily on what people can afford and, more critically, access.

The concept of a community fridge originated in Europe and is now also widespread in the US. The project in Israel was initiated by four young people in Tel Aviv and is currently available in many other centers (see adjacent list).

Don't be quick to assume your town lacks one of these community initiatives if you haven't yet spotted the fridge – contact your municipality hot-line and find out. The purpose of the community fridge is to provide access to food to anyone facing the distressing issue of food insecurity. There are many more than we imagine – fellow travelers in this world known as the "shadow needy" – we know they're there but don't really see them. Until recently, food remaining from cooked meals could be deposited in the community fridges. However, the Israel Health Ministry has recently banned that, and now fresh produce, such as fruit and vegetables (that may be past their prime but still definitely edible), unopened and dated cheese/dairy packages, and canned, preserved or dry goods (rice, pasta, lentils, bread, baked goods, etc.) are recommended. Also, something not often thought of is baby food.

Many have adopted a routine of adding one or two items to their weekly grocery shop and dropping them off at the community fridge.

Expanding the initiative

It has always been individuals, or small groups of volunteers, who have taken the initiative to raise the cash to purchase, or to donate, a small refrigerator, and to negotiate with a strategically situated storeowner to place it on the sidewalk outside the store and, of course, to cover the relatively low cost of the electricity for a small refrigerator. There is also the need for a core of a few volunteers to be responsible for keeping the fridge clean and operating. When considering a community fridge initiative, it is always good policy to check with the municipality for any restrictions or requirements that may apply. PR, naturally, is an essential part of the process in creating public awareness of the possibility of contributing to, of course, benefiting from the initiative.

The Locations of Community Fridges

Ashdod: Rova Het, 13 Sderot Haperahim

Rova Yod Gimel, 11 David Hamelech Street

Rova Vav, next to Boutique Hapitta

Rova Tet, 6 Gey Oni Street

Rova Yod, 90a KKL Street

Beer Sheva: 70 Yosef Ben Matityahu Street

Hod Hasharon: 5 Mavo Kedem, Gil Amal

Holon: 38 Aharonovitz Street

Jerusalem: 111 Agripas Street, Mahane Yehuda

Kfar Saba: Corner of Weizman & Hatehiya

Modiin: 31 Hativat Givati

Nes Ziona: 2 Me'ir Herman Street

Netanya: 79 Itamar Ben Avi Street

6 Sderot Binyamin

Petah Tikva: 4 Ramat Hagolan Street

6 Eliyahu Golomb Street

Rehovot: 49 Shin Ben Zion Street

Tel Aviv: Shechunat Shapira, 15 Ralbag Street

Dizifridge: 316 Dizengoff Street

Yehud-Monosson: Tzvi Yishai Street

 

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Sunday, 16 June 2024

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