Innisfil supports neighbours helping neighbours with community fridge and garden

The public can access food at any time

People who are facing food insecurity can access a community fridge in the Town of Innisfil, located at the Innisfil Recreational Complex (7315 Yonge Street).

The fridge operates on a “take what you need, leave what you can” basis.

Friday Harbour team at the community fridge – Image provided

The public can access food at any time. There is no registration required.

The town says the fridge aims to complement the great work already being done by local charities and will help expand fresh and nutritional offerings to improve food security in our community.

“The Innisfil Community Fridge is a neighbour helping neighbour initiative that ensures all community members have access to safe food with dignity, whenever they may need it,” said Mayor Lynn Dollin. “As the pandemic continues to exacerbate economic stress in some families, the fridge provides no-questions-asked mutual aid. We’re grateful to all the caring individuals, businesses and organizations that keep the fridge stocked.”

Officials from Friday Harbour have already stocked the fridge with fresh produce and non-perishables.

Friday Harbour officials stock the community fridge – Image provided

“We understand how challenging the pandemic has been to so many members of our community,” said Hani Roustom, CEO at Friday Harbour. “We are all in this together, which is why we are very happy to support by stocking the shelves of Innisfil’s first community fridge and this great initiative by our town.”

Other community partners, including vendors at the Innisfil Farmers’ Market, have also expressed support and are eager to get involved. Individuals wanting to donate toward the project to keep the fridge stocked can place donations directly in the fridge.

Donatable items include fresh produce, unopened or bulk dry goods, pre-packaged breads and pastries, and sealed non-alcoholic beverages. Please ensure that all food has a best before date and ingredient list. Items that are not accepted include open, half eaten or expired food, raw meat or seafood, alcohol, homemade meals and eggs or dairy products.

The fridge is maintained through two daily check-ins in which the fridge contents and temperature are checked for safety and quality, and high touch surfaces are disinfected. Whether dropping off or picking up food, all community members are asked to follow COVID-19 protocols while accessing the fridge.

The Town has also launched a community garden pilot project at Town Hall that lets residents grown produce for themselves and the community. The “Garden to Give” asks participating gardeners to tend to their plots from June to October, provide their own gardening tools and plants, and be willing to donate half of their crops back to the community through the Innisfil Community Fridge. Reserve a plot in the Garden to Give at yourhealthinnisfil.ca/garden-to-give.

Residents are encouraged to spread the word about the Innisfil Community Fridge by telling friends and family and sharing the project on social media using the hashtag #FeedInnisfil. For food donation guidelines and more information, please visit innisfil.ca/communityfridge.

Banner picture: Innisfil Mayor Lynn Dollin – Image provided