When you look at everything the Love Fridge has built and accomplished so far, you’d think it has been around for much longer than a year and a half. The summer of 2020 brought a reckoning of many sorts, bringing to light circumstances of inequity, frustration, and underrepresentation for communities across the world. But it also brought about a resurgence of public support for people in need—and with that, came the Love Fridge.
Cofounder Ramon “Radius” Norwood saw a community fridge in Brooklyn and was immediately inspired to replicate the idea in Chicago’s neighborhoods, particularly those south and west of the Loop that are devoid of fresh food sources and grocery stores. He put out a call to ask for volunteers and hundreds of people responded, bringing with them an enormous amount of energy and urgency to help combat food insecurity during a time when so many people were unemployed, in need, and desperate for relief.
Now, the Love Fridge has thirty fridges and counting, many of them open twenty-four-seven and all of them monitored, cleaned, and stocked entirely by the public. Organizations, kitchens, and farms can donate extra product to the fridges and Chicago residents are encouraged to donate their time to maintain them. The amount that the Love Fridge has accomplished in such a short amount of time is astonishing, but the distance they can—and will—go is even greater.