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Mutual Aid Comes to the Rescue During Hard Times with the Free99 Fridges Project

There’s no doubt about it – times are hard in America with the novel coronavirus now making its second peak. Not only are there those suffering from the virus itself, but they're also those, who are out of work due to the disease’s damaging repercussions on the economy. Without a second round of stimulus checks released to U.S. citizens yet, many are feeling down and out, and community members, even in Atlanta, Georgia, have stepped in to fill the gap.

For instance, Atlanta entrepreneur and activist, Latisha Springer, launched the grassroots mutual aid organization, Free99Fridge, this summer to help combat food insecurity in some of the most vulnerable populations living within the city. Even before the pandemic, access to healthy food was a growing problem in America, and in recent months, the problem has only worsened, as more people find themselves suddenly unemployed due to the ongoing public health crisis.

A community fridge is all about neighbors helping neighbors and providing access to fresh produce, non-perishable food, and personal hygiene items to every member of the community, regardless of need, and at no cost. The fridge is maintained, managed, and stocked by neighborhood volunteers, local farmers, and businesses within the community. It’s the very definition of mutual aid — a voluntary, self-supported collective of people organizing and working together to change conditions within their own community, while also meeting the needs of its members when the current systems in place cannot.

After months of following the progress of other free community fridge projects in cities like New York and Austin, Springer decided it was time for Atlanta to have its own. She put together a slide deck explaining how a community fridge works, launched the Instagram account Free99Fridge, and started pitching the mutual aid initiative to local businesses.

Springer now has several community fridge locations in the works around Atlanta, including Best End Brewing in West End, Hodgepodge Coffeehouse in East Atlanta, Joystick Gamebar in Old Fourth Ward, neighborhood pub, Poor Hendrix, in East Lake, and Lost-N-Found Thrift Store near Lavista Park. Check out the exact addresses below!

Free99 Fridge Locations:

Community Movement Builders – 790 Welch Street SW
Lost-N-Found Thrift Store – 2585 Chantilly Drive Northeast
Hodgepodge Coffeehouse – 720 Moreland Avenue SE
Best End Brewing – 1036 White Street SW
Poor Hendrix – 2371 Hossa L Williams Drive NE
Joystick Gambar – 427 Edgewood Avenue SE

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