free food fridges
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Free Food Fridges (F3) is an innovative structure promoting sustainability and community connection through food sharing. Anyone is welcome to stock the fridges with food donations, and everyone is invited to collect free food for themselves and their families. F3 is a solar-powered installation composed of recycled refrigerators with living plants promoting edible equality and biodiversity.
This project builds on the visionary work of the grassroots In Our Hearts’ “Community Fridges”. F3 prevents food waste by gathering surplus produce, nearly expired goods and extra items from grocery stores, restaurants and local residents. It will be a vibrant hub and an innovative architectural statement connecting people, neighborhoods and ecology.
F3 will be constructed from the adaptive reuse of refrigerators. The cube form will contrast geometric symmetry with the interplay of varying depths of the refrigerators’ layout. Solar panels will top the cubic structure, and a living plant system will be integrated within the refrigerator components. Seating constructed from reused refrigerators will invite F3 participants to linger and socialize.
F3 will be an architectural statement and a crucial community service provider for neighborhood health, diversity and cohesion. Sharing food is an age-old way to create personal connections. For generations, individuals have gathered friends and family at their tables and have dropped-off food to their neighbors in times of need. Free Food Fridges brings this value to the public, creating food justice though adaptive reuse.
F3 is a model and a catalyst for grassroots awareness and activism for food equality and sustainability. F3 will connect people through donating and collecting food. Brooklyn is grounded in a variety of community food programs. There are soup kitchens, food pantries, greenmarkets, food co-ops and so much more. The need continues and is growing.
Since COVID-19 began, the New York Food Bank reports an increase of 20% in overall food distribution (Unmasking the State of Hunger in NYC During a Pandemic, Food Bank for NYC, 2020). The Downtown Brooklyn Community District 2 struggles with food equality. Up to 20% of this district’s residents rely on SNAP (Through The Lens - Annual Report, Food Bank for NYC, 2019). This installation will act as a hub for local businesses donating food and for Downtown Brooklyn residents who provide and collect food from our refrigerators.