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'Community fridge' placed on Burnaby street with free food for those in need

Fridge located out front of Burnaby Youth Hub
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Burnaby's first community fridge is now operating outside of the Burnaby Youth Hub.

The Burnaby Primary Care Networks are pushing to ensure nobody goes hungry. 

Burnaby now has a "community fridge" which provides a safe, low-barrier and non-judgmental way for people to seek nutrition and food. 

The fridge is out front of the Burnaby Youth Hub at 4750 Imperial St. in Metrotown.

 "It is a place for people in our neighbourhoods to give and take, to reduce waste and feed their children better," a press release says.

"It builds and enhances our food security in Burnaby."

The fridge is available for anyone who wants to take food from it. It will not be policed to see who is taking food or how much. 

"In Burnaby, we have a robust network that supports with an ongoing need for food, with Food Hubs actively working to support families and individuals across the city," the release adds. 

"But we already know that it sometimes isn’t enough, and we also know that there an awful lot of people in the city who are underfed but aren’t able or willing to reach out for help.

"Often these are our most vulnerable seniors, newcomers, and young families­ – sometimes it’s people who working hard to become more stable and find that they just need a bit of help to get through a week and to feed their children."

Food continues to be wasted yearly, monthly and daily including extra food at restaurants at the end of a day or people who may have bought too much food and don't need to use it all. 

The first fridge was donated by Regal Rotarcats and supported by Refood and painted by teens and youth at the Youth Hub with a shelter built and contributed by students from Byrne Creek Secondary School. 

People are always welcome to go look at the fridge and donate something or take something if needed. 

Items accepted are as follows: 

  • Fresh produce
  • Dairy 
  • Bread
  • Grab and Go foods
  • Pantry items
  • Prepared meals (made in a commercial kitchen) 

Items not accepted are as follows: 

  • Expired food
  • Rotting food
  • Home cooked food
  • Open packages of food
  • Leftovers
  • Clothing or housewares

There are already two more fridges ready to go. The Burnaby Primary Care Networks is asking any business or organization interested in hosting one to contact them. 

"It’s safe, you’ll be partnered with a stewarding group to take care of it, and you’ll be doing your neighbourhood a world of good."