Open Collective
Open Collective
Reflecting on our 2023 together
Published on November 18, 2023 by Evanston Fight for Black Lives

Dear neighbors,

Happy November! We write to reflect on our 2023 with you, the folks whose generous support allows us to do what we do best: feed our neighbors. 

In 2023, the Evanston Community Fridges deepened partnerships with local organizations, expanded outreach to the people of Evanston, and grew our team of ECF organizers. We continued to work with the Evanston Nouveau Rotary Club, Whole Foods on Chicago Ave, Soul & Smoke, Northwestern University, and community gardens to expand the amount of food we are able to recover and deliver to the community fridges weekly. In June, we brought on a small but mighty team of Evanston Community Fridges leaders to serve as the primary caretakers of each of our fridges and advance our food distribution efforts. Throughout the year, we scaled up our grocery reimbursement program, allowing community members to shop for our fridges and be reimbursed. This incredible initiative has greatly increased our network's capacity to consistently stock all four fridges! As we write to you, we are kicking off our Evanston Community Fridges Thanksgiving food drive, where we are asking our neighbors to supply Thanksgiving staples to each of our four community fridges. In addition to our primary initiatives, we continue to field media interviews, build relationships with new stakeholders, and advise folks looking to establish community fridges in other communities. 

This year we also reopened the Sunrise Fridge at a new location (620 Madison Street) that is more accessible to our neighbors. We replaced the fridge, built a new shelter (thanks to our fantastic carpenter, Olivia Love-Hatlestad), and repainted the fridge with beautiful art (thanks to our talented muralist, @hai_ey on Instagram). In the coming weeks, we will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Sunrise Fridge to bring together our Evanston Community Fridges community to celebrate all that we've done together. We would love to see you there. 

In other news, West End Garden continues to provide fresh produce for our neighbors and exemplify how grassroots community gardening movements can help heal communities from violence. Our mutual aid support fund also continues to pay for the monthly storage bill for a low-income elderly neighbor, as well as other high-need items to our Evanston community members.

Please reach out with any and all ideas you have on how to grow this transformative project! We are always reachable at [email protected] and @evanstoncommunityfridges on Instagram. 

As always, thank you for being a part of this movement of community care. We are run for the community, by the community, and 100% of our funding comes directly from community members. We could not do this work without you and your ongoing support. We are grateful for each monetary contribution, each “like” on social media, each time you mention the community fridges in conversation. This is what neighborly love looks like.

In gratitude,
The Evanston Community Fridges team