As food insecurity continues to impact families throughout Acadiana, a group of volunteers is making it easy to access necessities for free. They started a community refrigerator on the north side of Lafayette outside of Mcmillan's Pub on Simcoe Street.
It has been in the works for about five months .
"Its a place where anyone who needs can go and take what they need from it and anybody who wants can go and donate anything they want for the fridge," says Erinn Quinn, a volunteer who helped start the fridge.
The community fridge is open 24-7 for contactless food drop off and pick up, no questions asked.
"As someone who lost my job during the pandemic I know you have to meet all this criteria and show all this proof that you need help and I love that this is something where if you need a meal right now, you don't have to show any proof that you need help," says Phallie Miller, another volunteer.
There is also no need for proof of readiness or availability to help out. It's easy to just drop off food that could save a family from rationing or going hungry.
"There's no such thing as food scarcity. There's enough to go around. It's just a distribution problem. There's grocery stores and bakeries that throw food out everyday so we're just trying to help redistribute it," says Jessica Ellis, a volunteer who helped start the fridge.
Just a couple of days after opening up to the public, volunteers are hopeful about expanding.
"I hope that it's sustainable and that it’s a consistent and reliable thing and that people keep donating," says Ellis.
"Anyone can host a fridge as well. We have these places that we're looking but if someone was like I really like this idea i think my neighborhood needs this, they could host it as well," adds Quinn.
There is shelving for dry food next to the fridge. The only food not allowed is raw meat, and you're asked to date any pre-prepared meals if you drop them off.
If you want to host a fridge, there is already a physical refrigerator available, a location is all that is needed.