Northwest Philadelphia got another community fridge a few weekends ago when D.O.P.E. Inc held its unveiling in Mt. Airy in front of the FarmerJawn Greenery.
Developing Opportunities Providing Equity (D.O.P.E.) announced the fridge as a continued effort to reimagine restorative works through art wellness and healing. It is the first of a series of fridges they are working to establish throughout the city to support communities adversely impacted by the war on drugs.
“There’s so many additional layers,” says Cannabis Noire and D.O.P.E. Inc founder Sheena Roberson about the needs of formerly incarcerated residents. “It was important for us to try to find ways to fine-tune some of our programming to support those more internal needs and things that get overlooked.”
D.O.P.E. named food insecurity as one of the ways communities have been impacted by incarceration, particularly as a consequence of the war on drugs. They hope that managing food sovereignty will help address the need for fresh food and produce. The organization set clear intentions and goals for the fridge, which include:
- Foster community solidarity
- Reduce food waste
- Develop a food resource network with community partners
- Improve access to healthy, nutritious food
- Offer regular education on food sovereignty and sustainability
- Address food insecurity in adversely impacted communities
Every community fridge has guidelines for what is accepted, and the D.O.P.E. fridge is no different. Items accepted at the fridge include:
- Clearly marked, dated, and carefully packaged meals
- Fresh produce
- Unopened beverages
- Peanut Butter
- Unopened baby food
- Dry goods and canned goods
- Hygiene products
Things not accepted include:
- Raw and uncooked meat
- Alcoholic beverages
While the fridge is a part of a mission to address the adverse effects of the war on drugs, Roberson clarifies that the fridge is for everybody.
“This is not just a fridge for people who are ‘at-risk’ or ‘in need,’” she says. “Right now, with the inflation of food costs and down the pipeline what we’ll be paying at the grocery store, this fridge is for everyone. It’s everybody’s resource.”
The fridge is open to all at 6730 Germantown Avenue. You can hear more about the fridge this Thursday on the Germantown Info Hub Hour at 5 p.m. on 92.9 FM.
Germantown Info Hub is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on economic mobility. Read more at brokeinphilly.org or follow at @brokeinphilly.