(Phil McLachlan - Capital News staff)

Kelowna’s first community fridge needs a home

People who need food right away will be able to access the community fridge

A community initiative is ready to get off the ground, except for one last thing – it needs a location.

The Kelowna Community Fridge is an initiative started by residents Lauren St. Clair and Amie Rand.

The goal is to have a fridge and pantry in a public location that those in need within the community can access and get food for free.

Rand said she had been reading about the community fridge in Calgary and how it has helped many residents who are struggling to pay for food.

St. Clair said it may be the first such project in Kelowna, but there are already many others like it that have sprung up in other Canadian cities to support communities as the pandemic stretches on and impacts many people’s finances.

“Community fridges like this offer a low-barrier solution for residents and community members who may otherwise not get the help they need at a local food bank,” St. Clair said.

“We want to fill the gap that isn’t always covered by food banks and charities because community fridges offer resources without having to ‘qualify’ to receive that support, whereas with food banks you have to meet certain requirements in order to access help.”

Rand said, especially now that so many people have been pushed to precarious financial situations, it hits hard and is part of the motivation why they want to get the community fridge up and running as soon as possible.

“I was reading one in seven Canadians deal with food insecurity due to the pandemic,” she said.

So far, the project has been successful, St. Clair and Rand already have a fridge and have drawn up plans for volunteer shifts to clean and stock the fridge and pantry. Now, all they need is a suitable location.

“The hardest part, which I don’t think we anticipated, was (finding) a location,” Rand said.

“We’re looking for something that is easily accessible from bike routes and transit… brightly lit and safe.”

St. Clair and Rand are asking businesses, landlords, and property owners in the city who may be willing to partner with them and let them put the fridge on the premises.

Rand added once the Kelowna Community Fridge is up and running, they’ll want to expand the service to other Okanagan cities.

“We want to do this in West Kelowna, Lake Country, Vernon, all the way down to Osoyoos.”

READ: B.C. salmon farmers request more time to leave Discovery Islands

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patios, retail shops to expand outdoor spaces in West Kelowna (PHOTO: The City of West Kelowna).
West Kelowna allows expanded patios, retail spaces

West Kelowna allows businesses to expand outdoor service areas due to pandemic restrictions

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Kate Budau’s flat tire outside of Glenmore Elementary School on Monday. (Contributed)
Kelowna mom searches for Good Samaritans who helped her change a tire

Woman looking for two dads who helped her after her tire popped in the Glenmore Elementary School drop-off area on Monday

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Volunteers at the West Kelowna Salvation Army were celebrated with a special treat on Monday. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Central Okanagan community organizations celebrate volunteers

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and non-profits are highlighting the people who put in the work

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Lumby resident Dan Hill was at Vernon’s Polson Park to celebrate 4-20 by giving away free marijuana joints to people of age April 20, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
North Okanagan man back with free joints, cupcakes on 4-20

Dan Hill is trying to help people of age relax during a stressful April with marijuana giveaway

A lit cigarette tossed from a passing car is believed to be the cause of a grass fire which was only held to a ditch by the quick action of passersby in Salmon Arm on April 19. (Pixabay image)
Passersby fight Salmon Arm roadside grass fire believed started by flicked cigarette

Dry conditions prompt warning from resident, fire department

Most Read