“Atlanta entrepreneur battles food insecurity with community fridges”
ATLANTA – An Atlanta entrepreneur is making it easier for the neighborhood to get food. The “Free99Fridge” started only two months ago and it’s already helping the community.
Latisha Springer said it’s not a new idea, but the concept is new to Atlanta.
“There are areas where there is no access to fresh food, so I really wanted to change that,” said Springer.
Before Springer started this project, she was out protesting in Alpharetta against racial injustices.
“I really just started evaluating, is this benefiting my community,” questioned Springer, “Am I really making a difference by standing out here holding a sign? Ultimately, I decided that I wasn’t.”
In late July, Springer decided she would start a new project to help fight food insecurity across Atlanta. That’s how the Free99Fridge came to be. The concept is “take what you need, leave what you don’t.”
“It’s a community fridge, also known as a solidarity fridge. The biggest distinction is that it’s a mutual aid initiative. It’s not a charity,” said Springer.
Even though the movement is new to Atlanta, Springer already has gained more than 250 volunteers to make it possible. The first installation opened on Friday in West End.
“This is human beings helping human beings,” explained Springer, “We take secondhand refrigerators, make them pretty and fill them with food that’s excess from restaurants, grocery stores, and people who have excess.”
Best End Brewing Company is one of the partners helping with this project.
“There’s nothing worse for us than having to throw away food, so when we have extra pizza or smoked wings, we’d love to put it in the fridge,” said Cory Burke, a partner of Free99Fridge.
The fridges sit on handcrafted woodsheds that house other items like nonperishables. The sheds also feature artwork by local artists.
Springer said the organization has already secured eight locations for the fridges, and she hopes to get more in the future.
“Anyone can put food in, and anyone can take food out,” said Springer.
If you would like to get connected to Free99Fridge, head to the group’s Instagram page.