Friends Open 24/7 Community Fridge in Utica

The fridge, which was set up last November, allows all community members to drop off food or take what they need.

Hana Selimovic, a refugee from Bosnia who came to Utica 14 years ago, is part of the group that set up Utica’s first community fridge last November. She first heard about the community fridge concept from a friend in New York City. Because anyone can use the community fridge, Selimovic feels it can help people access food without facing stigma, and it can also lessen the amount of food that gets discarded by homes and businesses.

“When I was young, there were many, many times when putting food on the table was really hard, and to have had something like this as a resource would have been an incredible blessing,” Selimovic said.

The fridge empties quickly, but it is restocked daily by Selimovic and her friends, as well as local volunteers. 

“Just seeing how fast the stock goes, once it’s actually full, it goes to show how great the need is,” she said. “I’m so grateful and I’m so appreciative that this has become so collectively successful.”

The friends plan to place more fridges in Utica later this year.

Volunteers and donations are needed. For more information, visit the Facebook pages for the Utica Community Fridge and Herkimer Community Fridge.

Originally published by Spectrum Local News, 2/5/21

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