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Community fridge now open 24/7 in Fellsmere

'Take what you need, leave what you can...'
Posted at 7:29 PM, Mar 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-05 23:39:22-05

FELLSMERE, Fla. — One in four children go to bed hungry every night in Indian River County.

Now, there's a new effort to give families access to food, no matter the time of day.

Working with Indian River County's Solid Waste Disposal District, Sue Flak looked around the county to see where she could establish a place to make food more accessible to those in need.

She found it sandwiched between Fellsmere City Hall and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indian River County.

"They're special in that they take care of each other and they have many food drives and ways to help people, but a lot of these food drives they have a lot of extra food, so hence the concept of the community fridge," said Flak.

The Fellsmere Fridge made its debut last week, a food sharing effort at the neighborhood level.

"There's plenty of food out there," said Flak. "It's just the logistics of having the place to store it."

There are protocols as to what can be on the shelves and in the fridge.

"The only thing we ask is that if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it in our fridge," said Flak.

The first weekend saw an almost empty fridge.

It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no locks.

Flak said there's trust involved.

"Food is a commodity and people respect it," said Flak. "Especially in this community, they take pride."

If something is needed or wanted, those who use the fridge are asked to leave a note.

Flak adds it's just as important for people to give as to take.

"Makes us feel good either way," said Flak.