‘Take what you need, give what you can’: RVA Community Fridges offers free fresh produce

Positively Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – At the corner of Venable and 21st Street in Richmond, you can find a fridge that reads ‘Free Food.’ Inside, you can find a plethora of fresh produce.

“People are struggling,” Taylor Scott, the organizer of RVA Community Fridges told 8News. “People need to eat. We can give food to the community.”

Scott decided to start a community fridge after growing food in her own home.

“I have this huge, indoor hydroponic farm stand that makes me vegetables and fruit,” Scott said. “It grows so much food that was in the thought of giving food to my friends. Then I was like, why don’t I just give it to the community?”

Through the power of social media, Scott met Kristin Wilborn of Henrico County. Wilborn happened to have a spare fridge and had dreams of making a community fridge herself.

Kristin Wilborn (left) and Taylor Scott (right) stock the fridge that currently sits on Venable Street. (Photo: 8News Reporter Delaney Hall)

“I live in the East End of Henrico, and I actually saw a gentleman stealing at the Walmart where I shop,” Wilborn said. “People are really having a hard time right now.”

Together since December, the pair has tirelessly kept the fridge stocked.

“People are really in need,” Wilborn explained. “I look at it as – one team, one fight. We all travel the same roads. We all live in the same city. Why not do something to help our community?”

The fridge is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and its’ contents are free for anyone in need.

As a safety measure, a list of COVID-19 guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health are also posted on the front of the fridge. Hand sanitizer and masks are also available.

A sign posted on the RVA community fridge detailing food safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: 8News Delaney Hall)

The operation also has the help 45 volunteers who take turns buying and dropping off food.

The team is currently looking to place five other fridges across Richmond. Scott says the only criteria for placement is a spot with high foot and car traffic and the ability to hook up to electricity.

“You don’t have to know somebody or be a friend to somebody to do something good to help the community,” Wilborn said. “We just teamed up and did it.”

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