This has been a difficult year for everyone, but in many cases these tough times have left people in need of jobs, food, and resources. In true New Orleans spirit, the citizens of Nola have stepped in once again to do as much as possible to help their neighbors. Community fridges have been set up in different locations around the city for people to drop off any fresh produce, pantry items, bottled water, canned goods, or prepared meals. The goal of these fridges is to provide an outlet for New Orleans citizens to support each other through these unprecedented times, and they have definitely made a powerful impact so far. The first fridge was set up this past June, and now only 11 weeks later, there are ten community fridges around the city, as well as a baby supply station. And of course, In New Orleans fashion, many of the fridges are painted by local artists to transform them and make them even more welcoming.
Each fridge is hosted by a home or business that provides electricity to keep it running. The fridges are open to donations from everyone: individuals, communities, organizations, stores, and businesses. This is a mutual aid community-based program, so the food is free for all and available 24/7. They have also created a GoFundMe and Venmo account for people to donate money to. The Venmo is @NO-CF and the link to the GoFundMe is https://www.gofundme.com/f/new-orleans-community-fridge-project.
I spoke with Tulane senior Nina Mazella about the community fridges because she has been actively contributing to the fridges, as well as encouraging students around her to do the same. Nina heard about the fridges through their instagram page (@nolacommunityfridges) and has had an incredible experience with them ever since. She talked about her trips to the fridges and how much she enjoyed meeting the various hosts and neighbors, all of which were so appreciative of the donations. Nina explained, “Overtime I’ve had the opportunity to get to know these people and they’ve given me a glimpse into their lives. This experience has given me a new perspective on life, privilege, and community.”
Nina also expressed how important it is for Tulane students to try to donate to the fridges, or even just go to clean them. As Tulane students, we are a part of the New Orleans community and it is our responsibility to give back where we can, even if it means just donating one water bottle or a bag of chips. Hearing about this program inspired me and made me so grateful to live in a community who cares so much about each other. Through every struggle that the city has faced, members of our community have found creative ways to help each other, which is something so unique to New Orleans. The community fridges will hopefully continue to pop up around the city and provide food and resources to those in need, as long as we continue to donate resources, time, or both!
Some of the closest locations to campus include:
- 5416 S Claiborne Ave.
- 8511 Hickory St.
- 3636 Washington St.
- 1915 Third St.
Cover Photo: Michael Democker (Tennessean)