Open Collective
Open Collective
2022 Update
Published on December 1, 2022 by Evanston Fight for Black Lives

Hey beloved community members!

We wanted to share with y'all a brief update on the Evanston Community Fridges' work & impact this year!

In 2022, we were able to repair, maintain, and continue stocking our four community fridges throughout Evanston. While we don't collect data from folks who have taken from the fridge, we know that each of the four fridges have seen very high rates of food turnover, indicating that all of the food donated is highly needed in the community. We have also launched our Evanston Community Fridge reimbursement program, where anyone can donate to our Open Collective and that money can be used to reimburse our neighbors who are shopping for the fridges. We typically have multiple large reimbursed grocery trips a week. We have also used a small proportion of our funds to directly support an elderly community member who has requested deliveries for basic food, hygiene, and clothing needs. This year, we also expanded our outreach by holding tabling events and partnered with the Evanston Rotary Nouveau to help keep the fridges clean and stocked. Lastly, we worked with community members to rescue uneaten food from large events and hold our first Thanksgiving food drive which supplied over 20 boxes of Thanksgiving meals to our community members. 

In 2022, we learned that, without a way to incentivize more community members to shop for the fridges, our community fridges would continue to be understocked. As more and more of our neighbors learn that the fridges are a source of free food, we have had trouble keeping donations on pace with food need. For this reason, we knew we had to think differently. As a product of several brainstorming sessions, we launched the Evanston Community Fridge reimbursement program to bring together the folks with funds and no time to shop and the folks with time to shop but no funds to donate. In doing so, we have been able to fund thousands of dollars of free food for our community members. 

Looking forward to 2023, we seek to expand our partnerships within the community and coalition build. We want to encourage restaurants and grocery to donate their food that otherwise would have gone to waste to the community fridges. And we would love to keep expanding the community fridge movement and add a fifth fridge to Evanston (fingers crossed).

We truly could not do this work without your partnership. We appreciate y'all so, so much and hope you have a restful holiday season.

With love, 
Evanston Fight for Black Lives and the Evanston Community Fridges