We’re well past a year into the pandemic and here in Hintonburg, like many other communities, we have seen the day to day struggles of our neighbours. We have seen more people asking for support and food in both community social media groups as well as on the streets.
Some neighbours specifically cited a need for support as the Parkdale Food Centre (PFC) was temporarily closed.
Inspired by an article in CBC about community fridges, Gillian Koh, HCA board member, knew we could step up and do more. We reached out to Councillor Leiper for guidance, then the PFC and Ottawa Community Food Partnership (OCFP) to see how we could help. We are pleased to donate the first outdoor community fridge and support our neighbours. We ask you to donate what you can and take what you need. No stigma, no questions asked.
“The Ottawa Community Food Partnership is excited to be partnering with the Hintonburg Community Association to install our first outdoor Community Fridge at the Parkdale Food Centre. We are hopeful that we will be able to replicate this model in communities across Ottawa.
We have had interest in pursuing outdoor fridges from several social service agencies across the city. Currently the OCFP has 7 Community Fridges inside organizations in Ottawa, unfortunately, only one of them is currently being accessed by the public due to Covid-19 restrictions. Moving towards having outdoor fridges will enable agencies to offer barrier free access to nutritious, culturally appropriate food.”
~Erica Braunovan, Ottawa Community Food Partnership Manager
“The Parkdale Food Centre is partnering with the Hintonburg Community Association to host a community fridge outside of our building so that Neighbours can have more barrier-free opportunities to access food when they need it most. A community fridge helps to reduce waste, increase accessibility of fresh and healthy food, and promote a neighbourly approach to decreasing food insecurity.
In previous years, the Parkdale Food Centre, Ottawa Community Food Partnership, and partners took part in installing community fridges inside of agencies like ours that serve the community, but the pandemic has resulted in the temporary but lengthy closing of these fridges, as they all remain indoors where many agencies are closed for public visits.
A new outdoor fridge can help set the stage for fridges across Ottawa to be placed where the general public frequents. The rules of community fridges are simple: take what you need, leave what you can, and no tolerance for judgement or policing for what people take! The culture of the community fridge should be and will be a welcoming space where there is no shame in grabbing what you need and where everyone is valued for what they have to contribute: smiles included!”
~Rebecca Dorris, Neighbour Experience and Opportunity Coordinator
The fridge and a food and children’s cupboard are set up outside the Parkdale Food Centre, 30 Rosemont Ave., with the grand opening coming early July. Hintonburg, we are a strong and vibrant community and are excited to support you as we can.
Although all donations are appreciated, the community fridge cannot accept food that is past the best before date or home made meals.
For rules and guidance for using the fridge, click here. Community Fridge Poster
We look forward to seeing more of these community fridges across our city.
Welcoming the delivery of the new community fridge outside of the Parkdale Food Centre. From left to right, Rebecca Dorris, Neighbour Experience and Opportunity Coordinator, Parkdale Food Centre, Gillian Koh, Hintonburg Community Association board member, and Abby Muir, Student Intern , Ottawa Community Food Program.
Nafisa Ali and Abby Muir, Bachelor of Early Learning and Community Development student interns with the OCFP, in front of the food and children’s cupboard.