Community Fridge food destroyed; community donates to restock

·3 min read

Aug. 5—After someone ruined the food in the outdoor Frederick Community Fridge this week, the Frederick community rallied to fill it back up.

Bri Goldman said volunteers who fill the fridge learned Wednesday morning that someone had taken a bite out of every single piece of produce in the fridge. The person had also opened and dumped out food cans and baby formula in the pantry next to the fridge.

"It's honestly devastating," Goldman said. "It's devastating to the community as a whole that has put in so much effort into keeping it up and running and keeping it stocked."

The Frederick Community Fridge, outside Glory Doughnuts and Diner on West Patrick Street, started last fall, Goldman said. It was originally just a pantry, but volunteers got the fridge for things like produce in January of this year. Volunteers run and take care of everything.

The food inside the fridge and pantry comes entirely from donations, whether food or monetary. With money donations, volunteers buy food needed to fill the fridge.

Filling the fridge for a week costs about $200 to $300, Goldman said. The food is for anyone who needs it.

"We wanted a spot where people could come with no restrictions, no limitations. You come if you need it, no questions asked," Goldman said.

On Facebook and Instagram on Wednesday, many businesses, organizations, and partners of the Fridge circulated news of the destruction.

Club de Futbol Skyline City is raising money and collecting food on Aug. 20 during its home opener game against its rival, Frederick Kings Football, to restock the fridge.

Club de Futbol Skyline City President Joel Ramirez said the club's staff was discussing the possibility of a fridge fundraiser at their game. Once it found out what happened, the club immediately announced its fundraiser Food 4 Fridge, Ramirez said.

Its rivals agreed to be a part of it, he said.

People can bring food to donate. Part of the ticket proceeds will go to the fridge, he said.

The first 20 people who bring food to donate will get in for free. After that, those with food donations will get a reduced ticket rate.

Ramirez said what happened with the fridge made him sick to his stomach.

"It's like anything good — there's someone that just wants to ruin it," he said. "I don't understand why. I'd never, ever thought someone would do something like this."

On Instagram, World Record Studios, a record label in Frederick, said it will match people's Cash App and Venmo donations to the fridge. Glo By B Spray Tans offered free spray tans to anyone who donated money to the fridge.

On Thursday afternoon, Goldman said they had raised $385 in donations, and that a lot of produce, cans and rice had been dropped off to restock the fridge.

Goldman said there's a lot to consider about preventing the destruction from happening again. There is the option of putting up a camera, but volunteers are worried it could act as a deterrent from people using it, she said.

"If people don't want other people to know that they are needing assistance, then we didn't want them to feel like they're being watched by us or by the state," she said.

Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: @clarasniel