A new grassroots neighbourhood initiative is bringing food security to East Vancouver.
The installation is a barrier-free community resource that houses a fridge, freezer and pantry. It's stocked with assorted edibles, feminine and baby products, plus various toiletries.
The project is aimed at providing safe storage for perishable and nutritious food items such as fruits and vegetables, which aren't generally accepted for donation by local food banks. Residents are even encouraged to stock it with produce from their own gardens.
"We can't have any raw meat due to food safety concerns and we can't have anything that's been home-cooked," explains organizer Rebecca Matzov.
Access is available every day from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. to any member of the public, regardless of income, living situation, status, or background.
"In the City of Vancouver, about a fifth of the population faces food insecurity and the population ranges. It's from the houseless population up into the lower middle class; it's not restricted to people who don't have a house to go to," says Matzov.
Volunteers clean the fridge daily while checking for expired food and maintaining the structure.
"We're going to forge forward and get our KCC [Kensington-Cedar Cottage] location up. There's already someone working in Kitsilano to do a fridge project like this. That's what we're hoping but we want to tackle one thing at a time."