Community fridges supply free food to Seattle neighborhoods

Next time you’re in Seattle you might notice some colorful refrigerators out in the open with the words "free food" on them. It’s all part of an international movement that promotes community members giving back to each other.

"We want to bring the resources to the community and uplift those communities and celebrate them," says volunteer Andrea Bean.

Volunteer Andrea Bean had the idea for community fridges pre-pandemic, but couldn’t quite seem to get it off the ground. COVID-19 created more of a need for a way to help keep people fed-which helped it really take off.

"It definitely grew faster than I anticipated," said Bean.

There are eight fridges across the city and many more in the works. Bean hopes one day to have more than 50.

"We really want to focus on areas where black, brown, and indigenous people don’t have the resources to go to the grocery store or even ride a bus to the grocery store," said Bean.

The way it works is simple: you give what you can and you take what you need. And if there’s any question about the demand, all you have to do is see what the fridges look like just a couple of hours after being stocked: completely empty.

For Bean, seeing those in need be able to get good nutritious food during a time when so many are struggling, "feels amazing, it feels how it's supposed to be."

Bean said if you think a community fridge would be a benefit to your neighborhood to reach out to her and her team. She said they’re happy and eager to help the movement continue to expand throughout the state.