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our mission statement…
Woo Fridge believes having daily access to fresh food is a human right. In Worcester, 15% of families, have identified as living with food insecurity. While navigating the Covid-19 pandemic, these numbers have risen significantly within our city. Community fridges are open 24/7, leaving limited barriers in the way of someone accessing fresh, healthy food of their choosing.
According to a 2010 USDA study, there are approximately 133 billion pounds of food that are wasted and sent to landfills annually. With 1 in 7 children in the United States living in food-insecure homes, wondering where their next meal will come from, the amount of food waste produced in this country is an act of violence. Within our organizing efforts, we partner with farms, grocers, and local restaurants to rescue food that would otherwise be thrown away. In organizing these food rescue missions, we support neighbors in accessing fresh, healthy food daily. Our free food initiative is rooted in mutual aid, meaning this is a fully community-run operation with the goal of developing community resilience and ultimately liberation from the power structures that are designed to oppress and regulate us. This is mutual aid, not charity. The goal of a community fridge is empowerment and building long-term relationships with community members.
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Our Guiding Principles
Solidarity not Charity
We organize laterally and our work is non-hierarchical. We understand that community members know their needs best, so we work in solidarity with those most affected by the structural harm that is caused in our communities. We work to blur the boundaries of giver and receiver and prioritize community responsibility over traditional systems of charity that emphasize one-way exchanges and are often ineffective ways of addressing structural inequalities.
The community fridges are organized structures for self-healing, sustainable mutual aid and connection. We approach our work with love, joy, and understanding that our job as neighbors is to care for one another. We do this by forming genuine connections and exchanging resources.
In practice, mutual aid is community coming together to organize the exchange of resources. This ensures that every community member’s needs are met. We are following the footsteps of grassroot organizers who came before us and acknowledge that mutual aid practices stem from non-Western traditions that predate colonialism and capitalism.
Community fridges are safe spaces, free from policing or judgment. We believe people know the best way to meet their needs. Food insecurity is not an issue that stems from scarcity, rather organizations that are hoarding resources for power or profit and policing the distribution of resources. We must work to uncover and disrupt those inequitable systems.