Community-run fridge opens on 12th Avenue in Regina’s Heritage neighbourhood

Members of the Heritage neighbourhood and a few local companies have worked to create a community fridge on 12th Avenue in Regina.

The community-run fridge, located in an alley next to Carmichael Outreach, will help alleviate food insecurity in the area. This is the third fridge to be established in the city with others located on Dewdney Avenue and the Cathedral neighbourhood.

Volunteer Sara Maria Daubisse said it’s like a free store for the community and by the community.

“Whether you’re accessing the fridge regularly or temporarily, whether you’re donating food or money for food, or whether you’re volunteering, you’re all part of the same community working towards societal justice,” discussed Daubisse during the fridge’s launch on Thursday morning.

The unit, which resembles a shed, contains two sides to it. One door provides access to a regular kitchen fridge to store items needing to be frozen or refrigerated. The other section has two doors which contains shelving for non-perishable items inside.

Derek Wensley, a USask nursing student,  was one of the volunteers who helped plan and organize the creation of this fridge. He said he was doing his community placement at the Newo Yotina Friendship Centre in Regina this winter when he realized this type of project was needed in the area.

“We were kind of looking around and realized that food insecurity is increasing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we thought this would help address that issue,” explained Wensley. “We found a bunch of community resources and businesses that were willing to donate.”

Volunteer Erica Mthembu shows one section of the 12th Avenue community fridge. (Photo: Moises Canales/620 CKRM)

Volunteer Erica Mthembu, who is also a member of Heritage Helpers in the neighbourhood, said they wanted to come together as a community to establish a fridge in their neighbourhood.

“Right now, we have a group of about five to 10 of us who consistently have been working on this particular fridge,” Mthembu mentioned.

She explained that they are actively looking for more volunteers to help with tasks including daily cleaning shifts and scheduled donation pickups.

Those interested in volunteering can register at the 12th Avenue community fridge’s Instagram page. Monetary donations can be sent via email money transfer to [email protected].

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