What is mutual aid?
Mutual aid is a collective effort to meet the needs currently overlooked by traditional public and private support programs. This is not a new idea; community based systems have been around for centuries, especially during post-Civil War times when recently freed Black and African Americans relied on each other to survive. This guide gives a great introduction to mutual aid if you want to read more!
What do you mean when you say “Solidarity Not Charity”?
This means that we don’t approach our work as “helping the needy.” We all need food! Rather than thinking about some people or areas of town as lacking, we believe that we have what it takes to take care of each other if we only work together. EVERYONE in our community has skills, ideas, and gifts to share and we can each do a small part in meeting each others’ needs.
Can anyone shop at the fridge?
YES! We never ask anyone to prove their need. There is no paperwork required to shop with us.
Can anyone contribute?
YES! Everyone has something to share. Perhaps you cook for one and don’t like throwing away leftovers but also don’t want to eat the same meal for a week. Maybe you’re a fundraising expert and know how to organize bake sales, raffles, or other money-raising efforts. Perhaps you’ve collected an absurd number of microwave safe takeout containers or plastic grocery bags and want to get rid of them. No matter who you are, you’re welcome to contribute!
Can I donate homemade food?
YES! We welcome homemade meals as long as they are labeled correctly with what it is, any allergens (dairy, nuts, wheat, etc.) and the date made OR date to throw away. If your dish needs to be microwaved we ask that it be in a microwave safe container. If we find unlabeled homemade food in the fridge we will throw it away :( Labels can be as simple as a sticky note.
Do you sign off on volunteer hours or allow students to complete internships with the fridge?
No, we do not. We find that these arrangements complicate the mission of building solidarity not charity and are not compatible with the mutual aid model. However, if your group or organization would like to arrange a workday or volunteer day, we certainly permit your group organizer to keep a record of who attends in case that is needed. We are simply not equipped to manage the paperwork and additional steps to keep track of volunteer hours.
What items are most needed?
Fresh food is our focus. We encourage any fresh items that can be eaten raw, like apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, etc. We also encourage basics like milk, eggs, broth, and spices. Water is always needed; we accept both bottles and large jugs. Individually packaged meals are encouraged as well. Anything you like to eat or keep on hand, you can bet someone else would like it too!