Free food in public refrigerator – Pro? and Con?

by | May 7, 2015 | News

Street refrigeratorWhy not put a refrigerator on the street for the hungry and homeless to access?

Mental Floss website wrties “According to the BBC, the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, hoped that he could restore people’s dignity by sparing them from having to beg for food. And though he pays for the electricity to keep the icebox running, he isn’t filling the fridge alone. When friends and neighbors heard about the effort, they rushed to fill the shelves, not just with leftovers, but with freshly cooked meals for the hungry to access. The story has since inspired some wonderful copycatting in the region, including this family in Qatar who stock a fridge twice a day with cold beverages, yogurts and breads for anyone seeking relief from the hot sun.”

Larry Huber, former President of the Vincent de Paul Society inPhiladlphia, writes.

I had been cynical about this since I couldn’t envision something like this happening in Philadelphia.

Aid for Friends has freezers in various locations stocked with donated frozen meals.  The video, however, speaks of refrigerated items that could likely be eaten immediately without a lot of preparation.  I wonder whether this would be a concept that could work in areas where the homeless congregate so frequently.  It takes the person-to-person out of it, but it also takes a lot of the humiliation out of it also.

In all my enthusiasm for stories about refrigerators, somehow I missed this very sweet one from Saudi Arabia. Last May, just before the holy month of Ramadan, a gentleman in Ha’il, a city in the northwestern part of the country, was contemplating how he could do more for those in need. That’s when he hit upon a simple idea: Why not put a refrigerator on the street for the hungry and homeless to access?

He asks what others, especially Vincentians, think about such an idea. Would it work in your city or town?